Stewart Donald weighing-up investment options amid interest in Sunderland AFC

Stewart Donald is weighing up his options over a partial sale of Sunderland AFC or investment in the club.

By Mark Donnelly
Friday, 10 May, 2019, 17:29
Stewart Donald is reportedly in talks to sell Sunderland

The Echo understands that Donald will still be at the club next season - but it remains to be seen whether that will be as a majority or minority shareholder following fresh interest in the club.

The news broke on the eve of the League One play-off semi-final clash against Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light Saturday evening.

Any summer deal involving the Black Cats would involve only a partial sale of the club, with the current owner remaining involved in some capacity.

Donald has previously made no secret of his desire to find fresh investment for the club, and takeover rumours have intensified in recent weeks.

Various reports over recent weeks have suggested that bids - totalling anywhere between £40million and £70million, depending on Sunderland achieving promotion - are set to come over the summer.

And the Sun have recently claimed that Donald was ready to accept a £27million bid for 50% of the club - leaving him with a stake of around 25%.

They have reported that a consortium fronted by a New York financier and with money from Singapore and Malaysia has shown an interest in the club and is prepared to take a majority shareholding.

But no deal has been agreed as of yet, with Donald weighing-up his options ahead of the summer.

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Donald himself has previously hinted that he would not stand in the way should a wealthy group wish to invest in the Black Cats - provided they can push the club on to the next level.

And key to any deal will be ensuring that the right people take control of the club.

Speaking to the Roker Rapport podcast, he said: "I've had approaches from people where people want this because this is one of the most attractive football clubs in the world to buy.

"The fan base, the passion, the history, you can create a Premier League brand here.

"I've read in the paper the Qatari guys who own PSG are interested, I don't know if it's true because we've not spoken to them.

"If they picked up the phone and said we want to do a Man City and take Sunderland to the next level and go 'boom' it wouldn't be fair of me to hold it because I like it, and I do love it.

"But if there are people who knock on the door and say that, then that might be a game changer but we haven't had that.

"We've had approaches from people who I don't think at this stage, some of them, are going to do it any better, any different, in fact might penny pinch more.

"If you say I'm a penny pincher, I'm tight but I'm trying to get value for money. I don't think I've passed up an opportunity for Sunderland."