Mark Campbell monitoring Sunderland situation but no takeover deal is close

Mark Campbell's name has long-been linked with a takeover of Sunderland dating back to last summer and he continues to monitor the situation at the club.

Tuesday, 14th July 2020, 5:31 pm

But the Echo understands no deal is close and senior club sources have previously been sceptical and played down any potential deal given the events of last summer.

The real estate businessman was involved in lengthy talks with Stewart Donald over a deal last summer and was visible at the training ground, before talks collapsed following the due diligence stage.

Donald later stating he didn’t believe Campbell’s proposal would have left the club in a better position.

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Campbell later went on to try and strike a deal for Falkirk, but discussions drew to a close in November of last year. The 46-year-old did, however, claim to have struck an investment deal with an unnamed Swiss side during a conversation with a Falkirk supporter on social media.

But Campbell - who splits his time between New York and Kent - has made no secret of his desire to invest in British football.

Indeed, work has been progressing behind the scenes at Campbell's Markell Group, where a team of football experts - including renowned talent spotter John Park and former Ivory Coast assistant manager Ryland Morgans - have been assembled should he eventually take charge somewhere.

There was a Non-Disclosure Agreement signed last summer with Campbell as part of the previous talks and Sunderland AFC are unable to discuss or provide information regarding any individual, or group, that has previously signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement.

Sunderland has been officially up for sale for almost 200 days, though twice last summer the club came close to changing hands with Campbell and the American FPP group holding talks.

Madrox have recently stated they have spoken to a number of interested parties with conversations ongoing.

Madrox admitted to the Echo in May the Covid-19 pandemic had slowed the process and stated they’d only sell to a buyer who had the ‘long term future of the club and its well being at heart’.

Preparations are continuing for the 2020-21 season under the assumption that there will not be an imminent change in ownership.