A Sunderland supporters consortium is preparing themselves to rival a £50million German takeover bid for the Sky Bet Championship club, according to the Independent.
The relegated club announced last week that the search for a new manager would slow down as talks over a change in ownership gained pace. American businessman Ellis Short currently owns the Wearside club and a German consortium held talks to open the prospect of buying the £90 million club.
However, reports in the Independent suggest that a consortium of wealthy Sunderland fans are preparing an offer.
It is understood that Television executives Leo Pearlman, Gabe Turner and Ben Turner are leading the consortium offer, whilst former Arsenal defender Tony Adams is also believed to be supporting the bid.
The former Gunners defender is reported to have been offered a role in the new set-up should the consortium offer become completed.
Pearlman and the Turner brothers are co-owners of Fulwell73, a production company which takes its name from one of the stands at the old Roker Park stadium. 73 then refers to the Wearside club’s FA Cup victory over Leeds United at Wembley in 1973.
A source informed the Independent: “These guys are huge Sunderland fans and just want to help the club get back to where they should be in any way possible.”
The club recently released the following statement regarding the search for David Moyes’ replacement and the ongoing takeover discussions.
“Since the end of the season, our focus has been to appoint a new manager.
“Recently, however, discussions have been entered into with parties who have expressed an interest in acquiring ownership of the club.
“With this backdrop, we have been unable to give the assurances any potential candidate would need regarding the plans a new owner could have for the manager’s position. The recruitment process, while still very much active, cannot therefore be concluded imminently.
“In talking to parties who have shown interest in acquiring the club, Ellis Short is determined to make sure the best interests of Sunderland are at the heart of any decision regarding its future.
“We are aware of the need to act swiftly to appoint a manager and, to ensure this is the case, have placed a time limit on discussions regarding a sale. If discussions are not concluded within our defined timeframe, we will terminate the process and move forward with plans for the new season.”