Micky Gray lifts the lid on his failed Sunderland takeover attempts - and reveals whether he could help to buy the club from Stewart Donald
Sunderland legend Micky Gray has lifted the lid on his failed attempts to broker a deal for Sunderland AFC – but hinted that he could yet revisit talks with Stewart Donald.
The former full-back was speaking to The British Football Podcast with Utilita, and was quizzed on the current ownership situation at the Stadium of Light.
And Gray explained how he has twice tried to help consortiums take control of the club – once when the club was owned by Ellis Short, and again more recently during Donald’s regime.
A long-standing Sunderland supporter, Gray insists he is keen to help the club climb back up the footballing pyramid after their back-to-back relegations.
But both bids ultimately ground to a halt, with the 45-year-old claiming that the groups ‘hit a brick wall’ in their attempts to purchase the Black Cats.
“It’s not with my funds, but I’ve been to the club on two occasions with two consortiums to try and buy the club,” he revealed.
“We’ve got so far and then it came down to the due diligence, and they weren’t - shall we say nice enough - to give us the paperwork to see what was going on behind the scenes figure wise etc.
“That was the end of it and we walked away.
“When Ellis Short was selling the club we went initially to try and have a look at the figures and that didn’t come to anything.
“Basically, he didn’t want to sit face-to-face with the consortium and didn’t want to thrash things out.
“I think he already had something in place with the owner now, so that went on the back-burner a little bit.
“Now that Stewart Donald, the present chairman, is trying to sell the club - we’ve had certain amounts of figures but it’s kind of hitting a brick wall.
“We get so far and then we kind of bounce back off the wall a little bit. That’s a little bit frustrating because it’s my club, the club that I love, and I would try and do everything that I possibly could to get the club to where it should be.
“But how many knockbacks do you take before you stop knocking on the door?”
So could Gray and his groups revisit the deal in the near future?
Donald is looking to sell the club having publicly announced his intention to move on earlier this year – following high-profile supporter protests at the turn of the year.
And while nothing is imminent, Gray refused to rule out the prospect of returning to talks with the club’s hierarchy.
“You never close the door shut,” he said.
“You have to keep your options open and I have had conversations with the consortiums. How far down the line with a third bid is probably further away than we were with the first ones, but the door is still ajar.”