Stewart Donald breaks his silence over Sunderland future amid ownership controversy

Stewart Donald has stated that he wishes to “sort out” his shareholding situation at Sunderland.

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus recently admitted to Sunderland supporters that he does not own a majority of the club’s shares.

Pressure had been building on the Black Cats’ Chairman to clarify the ownership structure at the club, having told a supporters’ collective meeting late last year that he was unable to do so due to confidentiality agreements.

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Louis Dreyfus insisted he had a ‘controlling stake’ in the club, and that day-to-day management report directly into him (he continues to enjoy a healthy majority on the board).

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 09: A General view of the Stadium of Light prior to the Sky Bet League One match between Sunderland and Northampton Town at Stadium of Light on May 09, 2021 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)

Louis-Dreyfus confirmed that the breakdown of shares is as follows:

- Kyril Louis-Dreyfus 41%

- Stewart Donald 34%

- Juan Sartori 20%

- Charlie Methven 5%

Following the reveal, most Sunderland fans have expressed a desire for ex-Madrox members Charlie Methven and Stewart Donald to sell their shares, with Louis-Dreyfus understood to want to buy them.

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Donald arrived at Sunderland in 2018 after the club’s relegation to League One before selling a large percentage of his shares to Louis-Dreyfus in 2020.

The businessman has previously owned Eastleigh and also purchased a 10 per cent stake in Oxford United at one point.

Speaking to the BBC, however, Donald admitted he wanted to “sort out” the situation at Sunderland before making a return to football.

“It was a difficult decision to leave [Eastleigh] but it was a huge opportunity.

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“It is [Sunderland] the greatest football club that I have seen. It is a fantastic place and as soon as I seen that I went up there.

“You meet the people and you see the passion. It was impossible not to try and go and lay my part in that revival.

“That chapter is now done and I left a lot of friends behind at Eastleigh. It wasn’t a finished project at the time.

“If I can organise myself at Sunderland in a way that works for everybody that frees me up so I can go back to Eastleigh and I can finish what I started all those years ago, I think that would be a wonderful way for me to get my football fix.

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“First and foremost, I need to sort the Sunderland situation out and whatever I do there is right for Sunderland.

“The biggest issue is that I’ve owned a football club for years and have gone to games for as long as I can remember and I’m missing it.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that that’s what I want to get back to and I don’t think there’s any doubt that Eastleigh is unfinished business.

“So I need to do everything in the right order and if I can do that. I have enjoyed coming back for half a dozen games.

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“It is quite common knowledge within the game because I’ve had a couple of clubs ask what my situation is because they know the shareholding in Sunderland is probably going to go.

“I just have to weigh up my options but Eastleigh is miles ahead of any other club emotionally so it is watch this space really.”