William Storey branded Amanda Staveley’s aborted takeover attempt at Newcastle United an ‘absolute shambles’ and ‘a load of nonsense’ as he talked up his chances of buying Sunderland.
Storey has been promoting his purported takeover on Wearside on social media for weeks, and last night he spoke to BBC Radio Newcastle’s Total Sport programme to offer some – very limited – information.
But he also used the interview as a platform to take a swipe at Staveley, at Sunderland part-owner Juan Sartori, and at FPP Sunderland, who loaned the club around £9m last year – calling the American investors ‘financial locusts’.
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald wants to sell the club and is understood to be in a period of exclusivity with another interested party, but that has not stopped Storey speaking out although he admits his approach is ‘unorthodox’.
However he contrasted himself with financier Staveley, who tried to put together a £300m takeover at Newcastle, which would have seen the majority of funding come from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and the Reuben brothers, before it collapsed due to the length of time it was taking for the Premier League to scrutinise the deal.
“I am a bit unorthodox and I accept that, no problem,” he said.
“But the reality is that I know what I am doing, I work incredibly hard, I have nothing to hide, I welcome scrutiny, I know football, and I am very passionate.
“Perhaps it [his approach] is unorthodox, but look at the absolute shambles down the road with the Staveley takeover that took forever and was actually a load of nonsense.
“As far as I’m concerned, I’m nothing like that – some financial suit that wants to bring in moneymen, I’m not interested.
“I’m a football fan, I know the game, I’ve managed to get big-hitters behind me and I want the fans to know that because I have nothing to hide.”
Storey’s wideranging interview covered a lot of ground but he was reluctant to comment on Sunderland’s current ownership, although that did not prevent him having a dig at Uruguayan businessman and politician Sartori who owns 20 percent of the club.
Sartori has been reported as showing interest in taking a larger share at Sunderland, although there has been no confirmation of that.
Storey said: “The reality is, one of the reasons I am talking about it is that I have a fantastic bid that under normal circumstances should be accepted, and I’m here ready to do the deal immediately, fully-funded with some world-class backers.
“As far as I’m concerned, I think the board needs to put up or shut up.
“You have a Uruguayan guy there [Sartori] who has got 20 percent who has shown no interest for two years, hasn’t put a penny in, purporting to be interested.
“In my opinion, this club needs to be run by football people.
“I’m very open, I’m very happy to be scrutinised, to discuss my plan, and as soon as this NDA [non-disclosure agreement] is over I can show all the backing, who we are, and all of the detractors who have queried my funding and queried me will, unfortunately for them, be exposed as utterly clueless.”
And Storey also hit out at FPP, the vehicle owned by Glenn Fuhrmann, Robert Platek, and John Phelan, which loaned money to Madrox – the company controlled by Donald that owns the club – in November, and which registered a charge against the club, the Stadium of Light, and the Academy of Light, as security.
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The ownership situation a Sunderland has been the talk of Wearside in recent weeks, with Stewart Donald in talks over selling the club to an as-yet-unnamed bidder
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He said: “I can’t comment directly on the current ownership for obvious reasons but the reality is that there are people out there who want to nick the club, don’t want to put anything in, it’s just a financial transaction, they have got charges on the club, and they are not football people and have no interest in the future success of Sunderland Football Club.
“I am exactly the opposite and that’s the real point here.
“If I was some corporate city suit just there to flip it, loan the club money and get interest etc, I wouldn’t be interested – that’s not my game.”
He continued: “One of the very pertinent issues at the moment is that there are certain creditors who may have charges on the club who I think are a block to progress.
“As far as I’m concerned, those people are not football people,they are not interested in Sunderland, and they are, for want of a better phrase, financial locusts.
“We are offering to pay them off so they can go off into the sunset and enjoy their pina coladas, but as far as I am concerned we need to fully-fund this club and then the sky is the limit.”