Ellis Short remains committed to Sunderland but is open to offers, confirms CEO Martin Bain

Martin Bain admits Ellis Short will listen to offers for Sunderland but insists the American owner remains fully committed to the club.

Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 6:23 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:44 pm
Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.

New York-based investment bank Inner Circle Sports has been commissioned to produce a three-page prospectus outlining club assets for potential buyers.

If an offer in line with owner Short’s valuation is forthcoming - understood to be around £170million - then the American billionaire will consider it, if it was in the best interests of Sunderland football club.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

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But no sale is imminent and Short, who has pumped more than £200million of money into Sunderland since becoming owner, is not looking to offload the business as a matter of urgency.

There was initial interest earlier in the summer from an overseas buyer based in the Far East but very informal discussions did not progress further.

When asked about Short and his future ownership, chief executive Bain said: "I have had it put to me that Ellis is less engaged than he has been in the past.

"What I would say is he is still very much engaged.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

"What he has done is that he - and if he was speaking he would say the same - has reached a stage in the journey of a football club where he feels he has got a lot right and has spent an awful lot of money and he has got a few things wrong by his own admission.

"He has taken a step back and is saying I am going to let somebody else drive it day-to-day and allow that person to maybe try and build the best team that can then help me as chairman of the board adopt strategy on a longer-term approach.

"Fundamentally, people should not forget the fact that Ellis Short still funds the shortfalls of this football club.

"He is the guy that is putting his hand in his pocket and should be commended as such.

"With regards to him selling the football club, I think the best analogy is that if you are in a buoyant housing market and somebody knocked on your door and asked if you were interested in selling your house, then you are going to listen.

"You won't march the person down the garden path. That is exactly what is happening.

"What I do know, is that Ellis wants what is right for Sunderland football club and he wouldn't stand in the way of anything that could be to the betterment of Sunderland.

"I am at pains to point that out to people. He is just taking a different approach to life than he has done in the past.

"Stability is a word that he uses as well. A word I use often, if not daily," added the club's chief executive.