Print Head

Ex-Sunderland winger Kieron Brady has welcomed plans to inject fresh investment into the club with American businessman Mark Campbell closing in on becoming the new majority shareholder.

By Richard Mennear
Tuesday, 04 June, 2019, 16:30

And Brady believes it is key any deal is quickly sealed to give Jack Ross the best chance of revamping his squad this summer.Due diligence is reported to have been completed and a deal could be finalised in the next couple of weeks, subject to the EFL approval process.Stewart Donald has spoken openly about the need to bring in fresh investment and looks set to sell most of his controlling stake, with Campbell taking the title of chairman if the deal goes through.There are conflicting reports over how much of the club the Campbell-led consortium will be acquiring with reports suggesting it will be anywhere between 54 and 74 per cent.Sunderland stress they are still talking to other parties and that Donald could yet remain at the helm with EFL approval still to be ratified.But the move to bring in fresh investment has been welcomed by Brady, who would like any deal to be struck sooner rather than later so as not to impact on the club’s transfer business.Brady told the Echo: “Absolutely I would welcome fresh investment, I think Stewart Donald has been clear from the outset that his personal wealth is not sufficient to sustain a club such as Sunderland, particularly when it comes to making progress back to the higher echelon of the game.“The term investment can sometimes be used in a vague manner by the custodians of football clubs, it depends on where the investment is to be made.“I do accept there has been much greater community cohesion and supporter interaction throughout the course of Stewart Donald’s tenure but ultimately the primary objective - some would say the only objective of the footballing season - was to gain promotion.“Unfortunately, that has not been achieved. But there is no getting away from it, in order to progress as a football club, you need better standards of football players.“If that is what is going to materialise as a result of others becoming involved then of course it is to be welcomed.”On the need for a deal to be struck quickly, Brady added: “I believe it offers much greater clarity not only to the people involved in the finances but the football operation too and gives greater confidence that Jack Ross would know what funds are available and what areas he can strengthen and the players he can ideally target given the funds that may be available to him.“In that regard there are grounds for optimism. This time last year there was optimism too. “I can understand the concept of supporters feeling like they have their club back but ultimately the club, I believe, is still in a precarious position over the medium and longer-term future. At some point the Netflix novelty will erode.“The longer it stays the same, Sunderland being a League One club, then the more people become accustomed to the idea that this is a club destined to spend its life fluctuating between various divisions,” added Brady, who described bringing in new investment as ‘essential’.Donald currently owns 74 per cent of the club, Juan Sartori 20 per cent and Charlie Methven six per cent.Campbell is reported to be acquiring at least 54 per cent from Donald and 10 per cent from Juan Sartori.The Echo contacted the EFL about the potential investment and they confirmed they do not comment on individual cases.The owners and directors test applies to all directors and individuals exercising ‘control’ over a club as well as any shareholder with a 30 per cent - or greater - stake in a club.As previously reported Ross will remain in charge even if there is a change in ownership and as the Echo reported earlier this summer, if the deal goes through then ex-Celtic scout John Park is set to arrive as director of football.Sunderland executive director Charlie Methven insists the owners are still talking to several potential investors but admitted he expects a resolution ‘or some clarity’ before the end of June.Methven told the Daily Mail: “We expect a resolution or some clarity before the end of June and in time for pre-season.“It is a case of re-examining the situation and asking, “Is it the right deal at the right time?” We have to consider what we think is best for the club in the short, medium and long term.“Stewart has said that he is in discussions with a number of potential investors, and three or four of those are still in play. “No share purchase agreement has yet been signed, and were it going to be a new majority shareholder, they would still need to go through the EFL approval process.“So it remains a possibility that Stewart will stay in control and nothing will change. The necessity for investment is no longer there because we will still be in League One next season.”Campbell’s consortium is believed to have links to both the US and the Far East, specifically Singapore, and has also been linked with investment in Scottish side Falkirk.Donald has previously stressed that he will still be at the club in some capacity next season.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

Kieran Brady believes it's vital Sunderland finalise a takeover quickly