Sunderland’s fortunes on the pitch have witnessed a staggering upturn in recent months.
Amid that run of form, however, was a bold claim from Stewart Donald. At the beginning of January he confirmed that he’d be looking to sell the club as he looked for a way out of Sunderland.
Donald’s reign in the northeast has been full of negativity. The Mackems failed to make it out of League One and there’s also been failed promises and considerable fan backlash. In his statement in January, the businessman claimed he’d make money available for Sunderland to spend.
However, they went on to complete free transfers and loan arrivals in the transfer market.
Bloomberg claimed this month that Donald was searching for £40m in order to sell the Black Cats, but things weren’t looking too promising when Alan Nixon suggested no interested party was willing to pay that sort of money.
It’s unknown as to who may like to buy the club other than Sammy Yu – a Hong Kong businessman who’s had a longstanding interest in the Mackems.
In fact, his attraction to Sunderland existed even before Donald walked through the doors at the Stadium of Light. Speaking in an interview recently, he noted:
It’s fascinating to see a party register such a public recognition of their interest, but that’s certainly not a negative thing for Sunderland. After all, it’s clear they like the club and that’s summed up by how long they’ve wanted to invest at the Stadium of Light.
Yet, a takeover from Yu is unfortunately looking unlikely for the Black Cats. He said: “I sent him [Donald] another message asking if we could start negotiations again but, unfortunately, as of today we haven’t had any correspondence, and have therefore been unable to look at the club closer – such as the accounts and the infrastructure etc.
“I have been in football a long time, and my partner is also very knowledgable. We are very keen to do something in football. We love football.”
This is poor from Donald, however, who should be considering talks like this if he had any care for Sunderland. After all, this isn’t a party looking for a quick way into English football – they’ve had a pretty substantial interest in taking on clubs in this country for a while.
Yu helped the controversial Carson Yeung take over Birmingham while there has also been an attempt to buy Sheffield Wednesday.
Though, Sunderland is now the sole focus for Yu. There is a willing desire to do business with Donald, which is something that hasn’t been apparent until now.
If the Black Cats want things done quickly then this seems like the only feasible option. Donald needs to consider a discussion with Yu.