Donald 'desperate' to sell Sunderland

Stewart Donald, Sunderland owner
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald said the parachute payments, given to clubs relegated from the Premier League, would be repaid in full before the club was sold. Credit: PA Images

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald says he is “desperately trying to get out" of the club, citing abuse on social media and the harassment of his family.

"It's resulted in some not nice situations for myself and my family", he told the BBC.

The businessmen, who is chairman and majority stakeholder in the League One side, said his 11-year-old daughter had been approached by anrgy three fans at a bus stop near Oxfordshire home.

Mr Donald said he was not “a crook, a charlatan and a thief” and dismissed reports he was “being awkward”, in his approach to selling the club. 

“At this current time no-one has provided proof of funds and shown an intent on closing off a deal", he said.

“I know they want me out and I’m desperately trying to get out. I’ve read the papers the same as everybody else, advising I’m being awkward in the sale."

Sunderland will spend at least another season in League One, after the pandemic saw this season ended early. Credit: PA Images

Donald revealed he would sell the club for £37.6m and denied media reports that parachute payments owed to the club would not be repaid. 

“There’s a bit more to go back in, but I’m certain by the time that a sale progresses, because we are a little way off I think, I’ll make sure all those are in there…”

“To recap where we are, I was asked to sell up and I put the club straight on the market. Pre-Covid we were relatively close to a deal, but unfortunately the two or three serious parties that we had at the time, quite understandably said you don’t know what your revenues are or when the games are starting.”

Mr Donald said he was “straightforward to deal with” and had communicated with fan groups, even suggesting that the fans group together and buy the club.

“What I’m guilty of is not getting the promotion that I think everyone wanted. But I haven’t not achieved that by being a crook or a charlatan or a thief.”