Stewart Donald

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald reportedly wants bonuses potentially worth up to £40million included in any takeover deal.

The Black Cats chief has valued the club at £50million but if they are promoted to the Championship, it is claimed that he wants to bank a bonus of £15million and a further £25million if they ever reach the Premier League. The proposed terms are believed to have contributed to American-based MSD Partners pulling the plug on a proposed takeover of the club. MSD Partners, which is backed by Michael Dell – owner of Dell Computers – have spent months trying to complete a takeover of the club but have now ended talks. It is claimed that they don’t see why they should agree to such terms if they manage to turn the club around as a result of their investment and restructuring.

Recent reports have also stated that MSD Partners felt that the club was overvalued and that there were too many unanswered questions. It is the second failed takeover attempt in the last few months as businessman Mark Campbell called off his takeover bid in July.

FPP Sunderland Limited was registered by MSD Partners to complete a takeover, but as things currently stand, it doesn’t appear that there’s been any more progress.

A statement issued by Sunderland recently said: ‘The board has consistently stated its desire to seek additional investment to enable the club to be competitive in whichever league it finds itself in.

‘In League One, this (additional investment) is not a necessity, so it is a matter of looking to future requirements, if and when promotion is achieved.

‘Discussions have been ongoing for some time, and continue to be so, but until those talks have concluded one way or the other the club cannot give further comment, owing to confidentiality agreements.

‘Whilst we understand the desire of supporters to know how the process is developing, we would ask, please, for some patience. We will provide an update as soon as we are able to. In the meantime, please do not attach undue credence to speculation and theories from various sources, as they are unsubstantiated.

‘The business of the club is in good working order, as we look forward to an exciting few months on the pitch, including crucial League One matches and a last 16 League Cup tie against Oxford United.’

Donald, who wants to remain a key figure at Sunderland following any takeover, recently closed his Twitter account citing abuse from supporters as the reason for doing so.

“I have always tried to communicate on social media and help fans but I think the negatives now outweigh the positives,” said Donald. “I temporarily took a break, but I will now do so permanently. I will just communicate via club channels which is what I think most want.”

It is not known if MSD Partners will resume talks with Donald and Sunderland. At the present time, things are quiet.

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