Stewart Donald has confirmed that he wants out of Sunderland – but he’ll only do so if potential buyers are able to meet his extortionate asking price.
This comes despite the club’s value decreasing over his two years at the helm due to stagnation in League One.
Donald’s reign at the Black Cats has been nothing short of catastrophic; failing to get out of League One at the first attempt, the club stumbled to an eighth-placed finish after being forced to part ways with manger Jack Ross.
And accompanying the failures on the pitch are his numerous PR disasters off of it, ranging from the hammering he took in the club’s Netflix documentary – often coming across at times as completely clueless – to the club’s harsh handling of the season ticket season over recent weeks.
Rightfully put under pressure by fans to do so, the Oxfordshire-born businessman has finally put the club up for sale – but his demands are ridiculous.
Hefty asking price…
Claiming he wants to recuperate every penny he spent on the club back in 2018, Donald has set an obnoxious asking price of £37.6m for the club – though he insists that this would return him no profit on his investment.
Speaking to BBC Radio Newcastle, he said: “I know they [the fans] want me out, and I am desperately trying to get out…
“The price is, as all the bidders have been told, what I paid for it.
“I’m not interested in making a profit.”
Many were also quick to point out that Donald allegedly bought the club through finance secured against future parachute payments, potentially causing grave problems for future owners.
Sunderland fans have finally had enough of the situation, with many declaring their anger on Twitter yesterday.
Donald asking for what he paid for it is naive, unless you upgrade something it tends to depreciate in value, we’ve gone backwards every season since he took over, he’s added no value he’s actually reduced the assets in the club, he’s deluded #SAFC
— Deggsy™ (@Deggsytweets) July 16, 2020
Whether Donald likes it or not, this asking price is a major deterrent for potential buyers.
It's an absolutely ridiculous valuation for a League 1 club (even one of Sunderland's stature) and in the current market, it seems unattainable.
— Mark Donnelly (@markdonnelly_) July 16, 2020
— Wengerullah (@wengerullah) July 16, 2020
Absolutely no one is paying £37.6m for the club in League One. So this only goes one way. Donald gets so desperate he just sells to the first tom dick or Harry that come along when the club is on the cliff edge #safc
— Parker (@Parkersafc) July 16, 2020
There we have it. Stewart Donald wants £37.6m for #SAFC. We have NO evidence the owners have committed more than £16.4m of their own money to date.
Meanwhile youngsters sold for quick cash, fans denied refunds for months and club withering on the vine.
Disgusting and shameless.
— Chris (@christoph_21) July 16, 2020