The Fans Together reissue update on Sunderland investment as Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven eye exit
Cryptocurrency group The Fans Together have re-issued their stance on their attempts to buy shares in Sunderland.
The group were present at Wembley, according to The Athletic, and watched the club’s win against Wycombe Wanderers which sealed promotion to the Championship after four seasons in League One.
Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven Methven have said they are prepared to sell their shares, with the latter claiming they are in talks with two external parties.
Reports have named The Fans Together (TFT) as one of those parties, and the group released a statement, which was re-posted on social media on Sunday evening, expressing their interest.
Louis-Dreyfus became Sunderland’s majority shareholder in February 2021 but still owns just 41 per cent of the club, with Donald and Methven retaining a combined 39 per cent, which is thought to be worth around £11.7 million.
"Apologies for our silence, we have to rely on our original statement as shown in full below," a TFT post on social media read. "We hope to be able to communicate soon with a degree of freedom.”
They continued: “The Fans Together, an organisation dedicated to bringing large-scale widespread fan ownership to reality, confirms it is in discussions with Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven to acquire all of their 39 per cent stake in Sunderland AFC.
"In Sunderland, we have deliberately chosen a club with a large fan base that is in a sound financial state and we are keen to work with existing shareholders to continue to build on the momentum achieved through the recent promotion to the Championship.
"While discussions are ongoing, we are unable to provide further information at this moment in time, however we will update fans and wider stakeholders as soon as possible.”
The news has caused much concern among fans on social media in recent weeks. That prompted Louis-Dreyfus to release a statement of his own earlier this month to try and clarify his position, along with fellow shareholder Juan Sartori, who has retained a 20 per cent stake in Sunderland.
Louis-Dreyfus’ statement read: “Juan Sartori and I remain wholeheartedly committed to Sunderland AFC and our collective focus is on preparing for the upcoming Championship season.
“Neither I nor any employee from SAFC has had any dialogue with the Cryptocurrency Group ‘The Fans Together’ and although a timely conclusion to this matter is preferable, any transfers of shares must not compromise the club’s integrity.
“All shareholders must also be qualified to take the club forward in line with EFL Governance and have alignment with the values and principles of SAFC and its supporters, as well as our long-term strategy.”
Any group or individual wanting to purchase shares in Sunderland would have to pass the EFL’s owners and directors test.
Last month, however, Sunderland's Chief Operating Officer Steve Davison told supporters that Louis-Dreyfus remains keen on purchasing more shares from Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven, but said that there had been no change in the situation.