June 20 – Sunderland’s relegation from the Premier League also saw the resignation of manager David Moyes over lack of transfer funds, and has accelerated the desire of American owner Ellis Short to sell the club. The club announced it is prioritising its sale over the search for a new manager.
Having met with a proposed German investment group in London, Short is believed to have put a price of £90 million on his 90% stake, though the Germans have offered £50 million.
Short is unlikely to sell at the low offer, having invested more than £200 million of his own money in the club since he took over in 2008.
The club’s most recent accounts show a debt of about £110 million owed to Short and the banks.
Short wants any sale deal in principle agreed at the beginning of July. Sunderland start their pre-season matches July 7.
While the German group seems to be in prime position another consortium led by wealthy Sunderland supporters looks set to rival their takeover bid.
Television executives Leo Pearlman, Gabe Turner and Ben Turner are leading a bid that is reportedly ready to match the German offer. Pearlman and the Turners are co-owners of production company Fulwell73, named after one of the stands at the old Roker Park stadium with 73 refering to the Sunderland famously won the 1973 FA Cup.
A club statement said: “In talking to parties who have shown interest in acquiring the club, Ellis Short is determined to make sure the best interests of Sunderland are at the heart of any decision regarding its future.
“We are aware of the need to act swiftly to appoint a manager and, to ensure this is the case, have placed a time limit on discussions regarding a sale. If discussions are not concluded within our defined timeframe, we will terminate the process and move forward with plans for the new season.”
Those plans also include the recruitment of new players though Short does not want to spend more than £20 million on new signings, despite having banked £30 million from the sale of Jordan Pickford last week. The club has seen 12 players depart since the end of the season.
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