Revealed! Details of a consortium that eyed Sunderland AFC takeover bid

An Instanbul-based group of investors have claimed that they considered a takeover of Sunderland AFC – only to then mount a bid for League One rivals Charlton Athletic.

The Turkish consortium are led by Ural Akuzum, a businessman who spent a decade on the board of Galatasaray before more recently becoming a shareholder of Dutch side Fortuna Sittard.

Akuzum was recently one of two parties in advanced negotiations over purchasing Charlton, having previously considered a bid for the Black Cats.

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The Echo understands the group’s interest win the club pre-dates the arrival of Stewart Donald, with Ellis Short the man at the helm when the Turkish group eyed a bid.

A group of Turkish investors have considered a bid for Sunderland AFCA group of Turkish investors have considered a bid for Sunderland AFC
A group of Turkish investors have considered a bid for Sunderland AFC

But Sunderland were simply one of the clubs under consideration by the group as they looked to mount a foray into English football.

Indeed, their focus quickly snapped to Charlton and attempts were made to seal a deal.

But a deal failed to materialise after agreements failed to be reached, leaving Dane Thomas Sandgaard – who also claimed to have taken a look at Sunderland – in pole position to purchase the Addicks.

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Akuzum’s advisor, Okan Can Tufekci, told the South London Press why the group opted for Charlton over the Wearsiders, and crisis-hit Wigan Athletic.

“We were thinking about if we can have a deal in a club in the Championship or League One and I shared this with Mr. Akuzum,” he said.

“He gave a positive opinion and authorised me to manage the whole process on his behalf.

“We researched clubs in the Championship and League One. Sunderland was one of them, as well as Wigan Athletic, but we didn’t contact with them.

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"We preferred Charlton because it has a great location in the UK. London is a great location.

“The club has strong history, it’s a very good club with passionate fans. We saw they made a protest at The Valley stadium. The fans made a huge impact as to why we chose Charlton.”

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