It’s now been close to a year since Stewart Donald first claimed he’d look to sell Sunderland but we’re not really any closer to reaching a conclusion.
It was reported last month that the Oxford-born businessman had agreed a deal with Juan Sartori and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus but evidently, it’s not been wrapped up yet.
Another interested party is Rich Energy CEO, William Storey.
The former Haas F1 investor has been very outspoken about his desires to buy the football club and after a long-winded interview with The Chronicle, it appears as though he’s already got plans in place for what he’d do at the Stadium of Light.
You have to credit it him because it genuinely looks as though he’s got Sunderland’s best interests at heart. However, all of his words and planning could be thrown out the window if it’s Dreyfus who ends up with the keys to the Stadium of Light.
One strategy Storey wants to implement if he walks through the door is something that falls into recruitment. He admitted last weekend that he wants to bring as many as five players currently at Premier League clubs to the north-east.
Of course, they won’t be established individuals but instead players under the age of 23 that reside in academy sides. Now, this may not sound like the smartest of ideas on paper given their relative inexperience but when it comes to the financial side of things, it’s incredibly cunning.
Sunderland are currently restricted by the EFL’s new salary cap – something the club voted against before it was introduced – and thus, they won’t be able to do too much in the January window.
However, as Storey concludes, these younger players are on smaller wages and would be easier to bring to the Mackems.
If Sunderland aren’t going to sell Aiden McGeady – someone on £31k-per-week – they will need all the financial help they can get. Of course, Storey would bring new investment with him but that’s not going to stop the club from crossing the line in terms of the salary restrictions.
The Black Cats may need to get rid of a few players but it is evident Storey knows the context of the club and how they can get around it.
“Academy players are on much lower money, that’s number one. The average Academy player in the Premier League wouldn’t be breaking the salary cap,” he stated.
It’s very shrewd and Sunderland could well give themselves a giant push towards promotion if they implement this successfully.