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Exclusive: Majority ownership takeover of Sunderland AFC is with the EFL, and “as good as done”

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Stewart Donald’s time as the majority shareholder of Sunderland AFC is set come to an end “next week” as the Louis-Dreyfus takeover is passed to the EFL for approval, Roker Report understands.

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After weeks of speculation in the national and international media, Roker Report have over recent days sought clarity on the ownership situation at Sunderland AFC.

According to European sources with close links to the EFL and parties involved in the deal, the takeover by a consortium involving billionaire commodities heir Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and current minority shareholder Juan Sartori, is “as good as done” and has been passed to the EFL for approval - which is one of the final steps in the process.

Sources tell us that Mr Louis-Dreyfus is now in the process of undergoing the EFL’s Owners & Directors Test, and as such it may be matter of days until a deal is complete, and Stewart Donald’s two and a half-year period in control of the club comes to an end.

Unlike the proposed takeover by FPP Sunderland in 2019, which didn’t progress beyond negotiations, the deal itself between the new ownership and Donald is understood to have been finally agreed, and the new owners should be in place “by next week” if things progress as they should.

The exact breakdown of club shares in the new ownership structure is not yet clear, but previous reports in the French press have suggested that both Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven will retain minority stakes in the club.

Nevertheless, with Louis-Dreyfus and Sartori’s combined holding expected to be around 80%, control of the club will finally pass from Donald following a breakdown in relations between the ownership and supporters over the last 12 months.

Roker Report have reached out to the club to seek clarity on this story, but they declined to comment at this stage.