Takeover expert reveals what is happening behind the scenes at Sunderland AFC as Stewart Donald looks to sell

A takeover expert has revealed what will be happening behind the scenes at Sunderland - as Stewart Donald looks to sell the club.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 11:45 am

The majority shareholder has publicly announced his intention to sell his stake in the Black Cats, and football finance expert Kieran Maguire of the University of Liverpool has revealed what is likely happening at the Stadium of Light as the takeover process begins.

“There will be agents phoning up Stewart Donald, or brokers, all the time,” he explained.

“They’ll be saying ‘I’ve got an interested party from Turkey, Hong Kong and so on.

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Stewart Donald has placed Sunderland AFC up for sale
Stewart Donald has placed Sunderland AFC up for sale

“The first thing he’ll do is filter out the tyre-kickers from people who are serious. One way of doing that is to say you have to put down a non-refundable deposit to look at the books in detail - that will probably scare away about 99% of people.

“They’re looking at a business that will be losing money, certainly in League One and especially with running out of parachute payments.

“But the interested parties will come in, have a look at the costs have been over the last few seasons and if there are any issues there.

“And then they will look at the current contracts to look at what the players costs will be, what they’re inheriting and committed to paying out.

“Depending on the wealth of the people coming in, that would also determine how much they are prepared to invest on the pitch and in turn how much they would pay Stewart Donald.”

Shortly after announcing his intention to depart, Donald told BBC Newcastle that he hoped a takeover would be concluded in a ‘month or two’.

And while that timescale was met with skepticism by some, Maguire feels it is a realistic proposition - provided there is a willing buyer.

“That’s feasible,” he added.

“If you’ve got a genuine, interested partner - they will come in and their accountants and lawyers will work the 16 and 20 hour shifts to go through the books.

“They’ll already have done the initial due diligence, so there’s no reason why you can’t put through a deal in a month.”