Belfast Telegraph

Ellis Short would listen to prospective buyers but in no rush to sell Sunderland

Ellis Short has no imminent plans to sell Sunderland despite claims that the club is on the market.

A report has suggested that the Black Cats are available for £170million with American investment bank Inner Circle Sports, which has produced a brochure outlining their assets, having been engaged to find a buyer.

Press Association Sport understands that there are currently no suitable offers on the table, and that chairman Short is not looking to offload the business as a matter of urgency.

However, sources on Wearside have indicated that should the right offer come along, he would at least be prepared to listen to what a prospective buyer had to say.

Speculation has mounted since details included in the brochure were published by a national newspaper.

A club statement said: "The Premier League is the most watched sporting league in the world.

"Its popularity and global reach means that there will always be interest in its member clubs and the information is simply a standardised document which is available in relation to any enquires received about the club."

While insiders have insisted there is no deal in the offing, Short is a businessman who has made his fortune by selling on troubled companies after rebuilding them, and there is little doubt that there is a value at which the club would become available.

Sunderland currently sit at the foot of the Premier League table and fighting a fifth successive top-flight survival battle, and failure to achieve that this time around would result in a huge fall in revenue and therefore the club's value.

It currently has debts in excess of £140million with Short covering annual losses, taking his investment since buying out the Drumaville consortium seven years ago to more than £200million.

There was interest from a Far East consortium during the summer, although that did not survive preliminary discussions, although it is understood several interested parties are monitoring the current situation.


From Belfast Telegraph