Film producers “bid over £50 million” to buy Sunderland football club

A consortium of Jewish football fans is reportedly preparing a bid for SAFC.


They may be more accustomed these days to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the big screen, but a consortium of Jewish football fans may be about to buy crisis-club Sunderland.

Brothers Gabe and Ben Turner, and their business partner and friend Leo Pearlman, are believed to be preparing a bid for the club which was relegated from the Premier League last season.

The trio are three-fifths of the Fulwell 73 production company, formed with Ben Winston in London in 2005 and now including chat show host and presenter James Corden as a partner.

It is believed they are preparing a bid that could beat a £50 million offer by a German consortium to take over the club from current owner Ellis Short, according to the Independent.

The Turner brothers, who are former Bnei Akiva youth group members, are life-long Sunderland fans. They directed The Class of ’92, a documentary about Manchester United stars David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, and Gary and Phil Neville.

They have also produced other shows on Mr Beckham, and films with Usain Bolt and Mo Farah.

The executives are such big Sunderland fans that their firm is named in honour of the club – Fulwell was a stand at the north-east club’s former stadium, Roker Park, and 73 is a reference to Sunderland’s 1973 FA Cup win.

The Independent claimed the consortium could also include Tony Adams, the former Arsenal and England captain, who is a friend of Mr Winston.

David Moyes resigned as Sunderland manager at the end of the season, and the club had been focusing on appointing his successor.

But in a statement issued to the Independent, the club said: “Recently 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."

The Turner brothers and Mr Pearlman are yet to comment on the reported bid.

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