Rich Energy Drinks CEO William Storey has confirmed he has lodged a bid for Sunderland as he looks to take over from Stewart Donald.
The Black Cats ownership issues have rumbled on for a year or so now, with Donald recently stepping down as chairman and stating his intention to sell the club. A deal fell through last summer, with an inadequate season of football following in fan’s eyes.
Now they’re gearing up for a third successive season in League One and Donald is still eager to sell, with the controversial Storey wanting to take the reins. He tweeted his latest move last night, stating: “To respond to the queries from fans and media: My fully funded bid has been legally submitted to the club & welcomed by the board. Still under NDA & deal currently in the hands of lawyers. My partners & I are working very hard for a successful outcome.”
Donald wants around £37m for the club he bought two seasons ago, and Storey has already committed to putting £50m in should his takeover succeed. Whilst it looks great on paper, fans do have reservations about their potential new owner. Storey’s involvement with Formula One team Haas ended badly when a sponsorship deal thought to be worth around $60million per season collapsed last year.
It looked set to be a lucrative deal for the team, but only six months into the deal Rich Energy tweeted claiming that they had pulled out. Oddly, the social media output was blamed on an errant employee, untilHaas later confirmed the deal had been terminated. Rich Energy later claimed that they had pulled out due to Haas’ ‘poor performance’ and the ‘politics and PC attitude’ involved with Formula One.
Sunderland fans are doubtless wary of the current situation, and have had plenty to say in response to Storey’s tweet last night:
Have you taken our latest Sunderland sticker quiz? How many players can you name from 13 years ago?
I’ll hold off any judgement or comments until more details are made public, regardless of whether or not your bid is successful…that’s what any normal person should do isn’t it? Social media is shite sometimes ?
— Michael Smith (@mick_smith_) August 6, 2020
Even IF you had the backing… (which I highly doubt you do!) Why on earth would level-headed investors allow you to continue this ridiculous carry on? You're totally the opposite of what they and we as a club need!
— James Robertson (@JCRobertson2020) August 6, 2020
Hi William I work for the evening chronicle, can we have more details about the nda that you are breaking please
— corrupt prem canmeister (@BinCanmeister) August 7, 2020
Must be a robust NDA with all the tweets about the situation, the comedy gold continues – stay strong Sunderland fans, it’ll be over soon
— Jimmy Conker (@mrlatus) August 6, 2020
Please stay away from my club – we are crap enough already without you involved. Cheers.
— Alfie (@alfiekeith) August 6, 2020
I wonder if William Hill are taking bets on when we'll be going into administration? Get in early folks!
— Phil Keenlyside (@PhilKeenlyside) August 7, 2020
Obviously unaware what NDA means. Some nice free publicity for you always welcome no doubt.
— RipperRich? (@IanIanrobrich) August 7, 2020
Anyone who thinks this man and his NeverNever Land drinks company will take the team anywhere but the lower divisions only needs to refer to his time in @F1 as sponsor to the Haas team. This man will singlehandedly send you guys south – beleive me!
— MJD (@MaxDavies76) August 7, 2020