AT the end of last season, hopes were high of a takeover of Newcastle United. Today it looks as far away as any of the other St James’ Park takeover deals which were leaked.

Today, and Sunderland appear to be heading for new ownership. It’s a deal which looks set to happen in the not too distant future.

The Black Cats have already had one big American investor, but the reign of Ellis Short was tainted as the club wasted millions and crumbled out of the top division.

The probable new owners appear to head up a stable business and investment operation.

Michael Dell will be the headline name in the group, but he is in the background with three others taking a more active role.

Sunderland might not be in the Premier League, and a takeover will not be as financially taxing as one of a top-flight club.

But the speed of which Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have put the deal in place is to be praised.

The pair were always hoping to attract investment after stabilising the ship following their takeover. They knew their limitations and needed help.

Now they’ve got it, perhaps it won’t be long before Sunderland are back at the top table of English soccer.