Sunderland AFC takeover: American group including multi-billionaire Michael Dell - 25th richest person in the world - in talks to buy Black Cats

An American investment group is close to taking a controlling share at Sunderland AFC.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 12:22 pm

Stewart Donald revealed last weekend that he was ‘confident’ a deal could be reached that would help the club realise the current hierarchy’s long-term vision.

American businessmen John Phelan, Glenn Fuhrman, Robert Platek and Michael Dell are understood to be the four prospective investors.

Dell, ranked 25th richest man in the world by Forbes, is the tech magnate behind Dell Technologies.

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Sunderland's AFC Stadium of Light.

He is not expected to take an active role in the running of the club but will be an investor as part of the deal.

Crucially, Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven will remain directors, with the American group backing their strategy for long-term growth.

Phelan, Fuhrman and Platek will take an active role as board directors in the coming years.

All three are listed as either a partner or member of the leadership team at MSD Partners LP, a New York City based investment firm that manages capital of Dell and his family plus other investors.

Speaking to Roker Rapport, Donald said the deal was ‘hugely exciting’.

“We’ve got a preferred partner, someone that we think can really do what we’ve talked about doing and come with us to take the club to the next level,” he said.

“I hope that we can get the deal over the line because I think it’s a hugely exciting deal for all the right reasons.

“For taking the football club on, as we have said we wanted to and in the way that we want to.

“We don’t want people who talk a good game, say they have got money and then don’t back it up or people who have money but don’t know how to spend it.

“We want it structured, sustainable, and the people we are talking to are talking long, long term investment, long term plan, not built on sand and I’m hopeful that as much as anything now that we have got to persuade them to come with us on this journey.

“Where we are is absolutely fine, to keep competing as we are and be financially safe but I think we have now attracted people who can do what we’ve said.”