‘s ownership group has been offered £42million to sell the club, Sportsmail can reveal.
A consortium fronted by William Storey, who failed in his pursuit of the League One side in 2020, is proposing to buy out all four owners and take up 100 per cent of the shares.
The Black Cats finished fifth in League One this season and are preparing to face Sheffield Wednesday in the play-off semi-finals, starting with the home leg at the Stadium of Light on Friday.
Swiss trust-fund billionaire Kyril Louis-Dreyfus completed his takeover of Sunderland last year
The potential buyers are keen to force the issue and if promotion is not secured to the Championship this month, they believe their hand will be strengthened.
Sunderland’s ownership group includes Kyril Louis-Dreyfus – son of French billionaire Robert Louis-Dreyfus – holding a 41 per cent stake, Stewart Donald retains a 34 per cent share while Juan Sartori has 20 per cent and Charlie Methven owns the remaining five per cent.
Sources close to the bid insist there is interest in the offer among the club’s owners, however, the chairman Louis-Dreyfus is not one of them and remains committed to Sunderland, regardless of which league the team is playing in next season, according to a statement issued to Sportsmail by the Black Cats.
Former Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald still owns a 34 per cent stake in the club
Two owners, Donald and Methven, have both spoken publicly of their desire to sell given they no longer have an ‘active’ role in the running of the club.
The bid to buy Sunderland is supported by the ORIGIN Sports Group, an investment company based in London that has previously been involved in the PGA Tour and sailing’s America’s Cup.
One of the founders of ORIGIN was former Tottenham Hotspur director and Games chairman Sir Keith Mills.
Sportsmail understands that Mills is not bankrolling the bid, with the investors, who would provide the capital, yet to be identified.
The backdrop to the bid is widespread anger among the Sunderland fanbase after it emerged that the majority of shares (59 per cent) in the club are still owned by Sartori, Methven and Donald, members of ‘Madrox’, the previous, unpopular ownership structure that bought the Black Cats from ex-chairman, Ellis Short, in 2018.
Charlie Methven owns a five per cent share of Sunderland but has said he is willing to sell
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