It’s finally been announced that FPP Sunderland have completed a deal to invest a ‘substantial sum’ into SAFC. Executive Director Charlie Methven believes the deal will help take the club ‘to the next level’. The FPP Sunderland group are American businessmen Glenn Fuhrman, John Phelan and Robert Platek. Michael Dell is on board in a passive role. The current shareholding of Methven 6%, Donald 74%, and Juan Sartori 20% remains the same.
Charlie Methven explained: “Juan, Stewart and I put a substantial extra chunk of money into the club before this investment a few weeks ago. The deal that we’ve signed is for FPP Sunderland to invest a very substantial sum into our management of the club. Really it’s to embark on phase two of the rebuild of Sunderland, having had a gruelling 18 months stripping everything back to ensure there’s no wastage anywhere. It’s now time to start building again. We’ve always been clear that would require a bit of investment, from our very early interviews and podcasts, and we said that it was no good suddenly looking for it when we needed it. We needed to be ahead of the game and the good thing about this is that it will enable us to do the things we know need to be done to take Sunderland to the next level. This is about the medium to long term things that need to be put in place for Sunderland to reach its potential,” he added. “There’s a large scouting network now being put in place by Tony Coton, including substantial numbers of scouts in this country, Scandinavia and elsewhere. There’s going to be substantial investment into recruitment in the academy, and things that are hopefully going to be able to take the fan experience to the next level in terms of infrastructure and there’ll be an announcement in the near future on what that looks like. Basically, the investment will allow us to run the club in a measured, strategic way. It’s easy to underestimate how many clubs outside the Premier League are living hand-to-mouth and one month to the next, it makes it very difficult to plan strategically whereas this development enables us to plan and do things properly. Our agreement is confidential and I wouldn’t want to speak for the investors on that [long-term plan], but obviously it’s a very significant cash injection at any level outside of the Premier League.”