Sunderland attract takeover interest as details emerge over potential deals

Two groups are currently considering a takeover of Sunderland AFC, the Echo understands.

Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 5:06 pm

And while there was hope that new owners could be in place by the end of May, the coronavirus outbreak has seen talks progress at a slower rate than planned.

But despite the current global uncertainty, two groups remain interested in purchasing the Black Cats.

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Stewart Donald is looking to sell Sunderland AFC - and the Echo understands two groups are interested in the club.

Both groups have been long-standing admirers of the club and include members who have experience in running a football club.

Sources on the buying side of the transaction claim that Donald remains receptive to offers and, while his asking price of around £35million remains unchanged, there is a willingness to be flexible with the payment schedule - meaning the sum could be spread over a number of years.

Speaking to the Echo last month, club owners Madrox confirmed that their asking price had been 'flexible within reason' and that numerous parties had previously hit this sum.

Donald has repeatedly insisted that he wants to sell the club to the right buyer, rather than to the first group to have hit the asking price.

Speaking to talkSPORT in April, the club's current majority shareholder also confirmed that he was a reluctant seller and would be interested in maintaining a stake in the club moving forward. It is not yet known whether either of the propositions currently being discussed would allow Donald to remain at the Stadium of Light.

The club are yet to identify a preferred bidder and it is understood that both proposals are in their infancy - with no due diligence yet undertaken and heads of terms still to be agreed.

However, a source close to one group confirmed that positive talks had been held with the club's hierarchy in recent days and there are hopes a deal can be struck.

It is unlikely, however, that the club will be in the hands of new owners this month - meaning the club's current regime will press on with their plans ahead of the 2020/21 season.