Sunderland owner Stewart Donald opens up on takeover interest and potential investment options

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald admits there has been interest to buy Sunderland since his arrival in the summer - yet no potential offers have been right for the club.

By Joe Nicholson
Monday, 15 April, 2019, 14:06

Speaking to the Roker Rapport podcast, Donald discussed a range of topics, including possible investments and takeover bids, yet he insists he hasn't passed up an opportunity which would benefit the club.

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

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald.

"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."

Donald revealed the Black Cats will still have 'around £14million' to pay for players' contracts next season, significantly more than any other team in League One.

One way to address that would be to bring in new investors, yet Donald believes there are other ways to raise money.

When asked if the club could bring in more investors to help raise funds,Donald replied: "Potentially, what I've done with Charlie (Methven) and Juan (Sartori) is we've been working, if you like, on the other Championship teams' models because we think we're ok in League One.

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"We want to see how they're spending, to see how they're doing it and be quite thorough with that.

"We tried to work out where we think we'll get the club too, where our basic break even point is."

Donald also stated any potential investors would have to share the same motives and want only what's best for the football club, rather than wanting to "treat it as a toy."

He also believes there are other ways to raise funds through various strategies, such as the Netflix link, stadium naming rights and the clubs academy.

"You could get an investor comes in and says I'll put £60million in but fundamentally that would be £60million worth of debt," said Donald.

"So would we be better to raise £30million ourselves and spend it without any involvement? Maybe but it's a bit more of a gamble and puts the pressure on us to get it right.

"When I'm talking about do we need investment, we might not, there are ways that our revenue might go up, but we want a buffer."

Donald also revealed another option would be for co-owner Juan Sartori to get more involved with the club, after buying a 20 per cent stake last summer.

"What we have got to do is recognise if Juan wants to, and those conversations are ongoing, it might just be that Juan gets more involved," added Donald.

"But on the basis that things aren't certain yet, you've got to bare in mind that if I'm going to say to Juan 'can we have a bit more finance and firepower please' he might turn around and say 'yeah I'll do that but I want a bit more of the club Stu, what's it worth?'

"We have to get a market feel of where we are so that Juan would invest on an equitable basis if that's what he wants to do."