New Sunderland owner says sacked Chris Coleman could return to club

first_img Who is Stewart Donald, Sunderland’s prospective new chairman? Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter news Sunderland Read more Topics Stewart Donald, the new owner of Sunderland, has raised the startling possibility of Chris Coleman returning as manager after revealing he will pay Ellis Short £40m for the now League One club over the next two years.The former Eastleigh owner, speaking for the first time since the Football League ratified his takeover, said that all previous debts had been erased and Sunderland would benefit from a “pretty hefty” third tier transfer budget. He then proceeded to refuse to rule out the chance of Coleman making an extraordinary comeback. “The budget’s going to be pretty hefty for League One,” he said. “It’s going to be a lot more than any of the teams that got promoted last season had. I’m sure it’s a budget one or two Championship clubs would like.”As a key part of his manifesto for change, Donald hopes to name Sunderland’s a new manager in the next week but maintained he had nothing to do with Coleman’s controversial sacking in April. “That was all Ellis,” he said. “It wasn’t us and I wouldn’t rule out potentially talking to Chris. We wouldn’t necessarily exclude Chris. When I look at the list of people who have applied I think Chris would be potentially in the three or four we’d like to speak to.”It is only the second time in their history that Sunderland have fallen into the third tier and a club relegated from the Premier League just 12 months ago desperately craves a new dawn.Around £35m worth of top-flight parachute payments will help but there are concerns about the longer-term funding. Donald conceded that he is not currently backed by an international consortium but is in partnership with Charlie Methven, a public relations expert. The pair are actively seeking outside investment.Nonetheless they are adamant the agreement with Short means the new regime will start on a healthy financial note and that arrears recently understood to be in excess of £100m have been eliminated. “We’ve given Ellis £40m and in return Ellis has tidied up his debt and that’s now gone,” said Donald. “Ellis was very clear he didn’t want the debt, but we didn’t want the debt either so we refused that. Sunderland is now debt-free.”Initially Donald and Methven did not want to buy Sunderland until further investors were on board but they were eventually persuaded to act quickly. “The timescale was getting very crunched and anything that delayed the takeover was going to have a material impact on this summer’s business,” said Methven. “We took advice … and what became clear was that it would be quicker and more straightforward if the club was simply taken over by Stewart.“There are other people we both have in mind who have further capital and contacts that could be useful for the club going forward. Considerable investment is needed. This is an organisation that has become used to failure and there needs to be a quick turnaround. But Stuart will be the major shareholder whatever happens.” Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on LinkedIn Chris Coleman Sign up for The Fiver, our daily football email. Share via Email Reuse this contentlast_img

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