Sunderland AFC takeover: Who are multi-billionaire American investors Michael Dell, John Phelan, Glenn Fuhrman and Robert Platek?

Sunderland AFC look set for substantial investment from a four-strong consortium – but who are the men behind the bid?

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 6:35 pm

After a considering a number of investment proposals, Stewart Donald is set to allow the American businessmen to take a stake in the Black Cats – although both he and Charlie Methven will remain as shareholders.

And while the new consortium aren’t expected to take an active involvement in the running of the club, there remains a great deal of intrigue around the new shareholders of the club.

So who are the four members of the consortium, and how much are they worth? We take a look?

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John Phelan and Glenn Fuhrman
John Phelan and Glenn Fuhrman


Estimated worth: Unknown – but reported to be in the billions.

Business interests: Co-founder and co-managing partner of MSD Partners

Phelan heads-up MSD Partners – and has done since its inception in the late 20th century.

Everything you need to know about Sunderland's potential investors

While much less is known about Phelan, including his exact wealth, he is a renowned art collector and is viewed as one of the top 200 collectors in the world – which suggests he has some finance of his own.

Indeed, he and wife Amy have also engaged in various areas of philanthropy – donating around $2.2million in the last 12 months.


Michael Dell is one of four US businessmen considering investing in Sunderland.

Estimated worth: Unknown – but reported to be in the billions.

Business interests: Co-founder and co-managing partner of MSD Partners

Working alongside Phelan at MSD Partners is Fuhrman – who has previously worked with financiers Goldman, Sachs & Co in their investment division.

Another avid art collector, Fuhrman’s collection is understood to be one of the most valuable in the US.

Billionaire Michael Dell is believed one of a group of American investors interested in talking a controlling interest in Sunderland football club.

Interestingly, in 2013 Fuhrman and his wife Amanda sponsored the creation of the nation's largest free Wi-Fi network - covering 95 city blocks in Harlem.


Estimated worth: Unknown

Business interests: Partner at MSD Partners

Platek is perhaps the least-known member of the deal, as he tends to work in the background at MSD Partners.

Fans' Museum founder Michael Ganley says the potential takeover is all fans will be talking about at Saturday's Sunderland game.

The Rutgers University alumni has previously been involved in several hedge funds and investment groups, and is often charged with identifying investment opportunities for Fuhrman and Phelan.

He may be tasked with ensuring any capital is invested wisely in the Black Cats.


Estimated worth: $31.8billion

Business interests: Founder, Chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies

The most well-known of the consortium is Dell – the founder of the famous technology company of the same name.

He will be a minority investor in the proposed deal, with the other three leading the bid.

A regular on the Forbes Rich List – ranking 25th in the most recent edition – Dell is one of America’s most high-profile billionaires.

Dell has spent his entire career building up his own business, and has also donated to several charitable funds through a foundation set up alongside his wife, Susan.

The group has a wide-ranging portfolio, and have made a foray into the sporting world. It was a prominent part of deals to buy out UFC and baseball side Miami Marlins.