Stewart Donald responds to questions after report claims MSD Partners' takeover is off

Stewart Donald says he remains hopeful he can secure investment in Sunderland following reports the proposed takeover of the club by MSD Partners has collapsed.

Tuesday, 8th October 2019, 5:22 pm
Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald.

The Sun claimed on Tuesday afternoon that the consortium led by Glenn Fuhrman, Robert Platek and John Phelan had pulled out of the deal due to a belief that the club had been overvalued.

Donald did, however, deny that particular claim.

And he has stressed he remains hopeful of securing investment and said he will look to provide a further update to the club’s fanbase on Friday of this week.

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Around an hour after the news broke that the takeover was on the rocks, SAFC confirmed that they had sacked manager Jack Ross just hours before the EFL Trophy clash with Grimsby Town at the Stadium of Light.

Responding to a fan who said he would not watch the club again if the report that the takeover was off was true, Donald tweeted: “That is up to you Eddy.

“I have done and am doing my best to attract investment from quality people.

“I cannot comment on where the deal is for investment yet - I said two weeks & I will update you. I can tell you there is no issue with valuations. I haven't haggled price!”

Donald had recently told supporters that he would soon be able to offer clarity on the proposed deal.

In a separate tweet, he added: “I can't comment much [of] it is still ongoing - so that tells you that we are still hopeful of investment. What I can confirm is that I have NEVER moved the valuation and there will be no way if a deal doesn't happen it will be because of the price. I am working hard to get investment.”

The Sunderland owner then added to one fan: “don't give up just yet though. I will update everyone at the weekend” before adding “potential investment is still very possible”.

If the takeover were to fall through, this would be the second this summer.

Donald moved to reassure fans on September 28th, when he tweeted: “For Sunderland fans who are unsure what I said [at a talk-in with supporters].

“I said I can’t say too much but it’s not quite as advanced as people make out but better than 50/50. Nothing is done till it’s done. We will know 1 or 2 weeks. Too many rumours with people pretending to know more than they do.”

The consortium, which would also include Michael Dell as a passive investor, have been in talks regarding a potential deal that would see them take a majority share in the club.

Members of the group have attended games on Wearside and undertaken extensive due diligence.

The club have been looking for added investment for an extended period, with real estate businessman Mark Campbell failing in his bid to take a majority share earlier this summer.