Stewart Donald reveals ‘competitive budget’ for new Sunderland manager and could sit with fans for Wolves game

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Stewart Donald has told BBC Radio Solent that he is confident he will be granted EFL approval to take over Sunderland – and he will provide the club with a ‘competitive budget’.

The businessman, who agreed a deal to front a consortium and buy the club off Ellis Short over the weekend, told the station that his involvement had escalated and that he would be offering significant personal investment.

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He has since further opened up on the potential deal and says he is ‘unbelievably excited’ about the potential of taking the club on.

He said: “I’m confident that I can give Sunderland a competitive budget. It will take a bit of work.

“I can’t really comment but I have to say, I’m hopeful that I can get through the EFL process. I do white collar jobs, there’s nothing in my history that says I shouldn’t pass that.

Stewart Donald.

Stewart Donald.

“I’ve got the funds required to give that a go, hopefully they’ll see that as I go through the process.

“Who wouldn’t be excited about Sunderland? It’s a challenge, I can’t say anything about it other than to say that it is a big job.

“You’ve just got to live it and breathe it, and I am unbelievably excited about it. I’m more than a makeweight now as I’ve already said, which has cost me a little bit more than I expected but once you get into it you just think, ‘I’ve got to be part of this.’

“It is an unbelievable place for football. I hope it goes through because I just can’t wait.”

The EFL Owners’ and Directors’ test is established to ‘protect the integrity’ of the competition and has no specified timeframe.

Donald will be expected to show proof of funding with his backers still private. He has promised on Twitter that should the deal go through ‘everything will be come clear’.

One potential obstacle to the deal is his ownership of Eastleigh FC, with multiple ownership outlawed.

However, he told Radio Solent that he has ‘three or four’ credible parties interested in taking the club off his hands.

After years of personal investment in the club, he has said that he will not seek money for it but rather guarantees that his legacy will be protected by continued funding, ticket price protection for supporters and a debt-free model.

He has told a Sunderland supporter on social media that should approval be granted in time, he hopes to attend Sunday’s clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers and could sit with the fans .