Sunderland's long-awaited takeover may finally be nearing its conclusion, as a consortium headed by Dell Technologies CEO Michael Dell have emerged as frontrunners to assume control of the club in the foreseeable future.
The Black Cats have been on the slide since their relegation from the Premier League in 2017, and following their subsequent drop from the Championship in 2018, defeat in the playoff final last season means they remain in the third tier for the current season.
With such a dramatic drop comes its financial issues, and directors Stewart Donald and Charlie Metven, who took over following their Championship turmoil, have been actively pursuing a takeover in a bid to raise investment and return the club to the top flight.
According to reports originating from the Telegraph, that looks set to come in the form of a four-person consortium headed up by Dell, who Forbes ranked as the 25th richest person in the world back in March.
The group, named MSD Partners, have been looking to buy into an English club for some time, and have reportedly been persuaded by Metven that there is serious potential for growth on minimal investment, given that the club currently plies its trade in League One.
If they could be restored to their former top-flight status, then the revenue and resale value of the club would hit the roof, and this is acknowledged by Bell, who will now undergo the EFL's fit for purpose evaluation with a view to taking control of the club.
It is believed MSD are the 'exciting' preferred partner that Donald spoke of last week.
“We’ve got a preferred partner,” Donald said. “Someone that we think can really do what we’ve talked about doing and come with us to take the club to the next level.
"I hope that we can get the deal over the line because I think it’s a hugely exciting deal for all the right reasons."