STEWART DONALD has disputed any suggestion that he bought Sunderland for a quick-profit by claiming he wants to be part of the club’s long-term future.

The Sunderland owner, who only completed a takeover from Ellis Short 12 months ago, has defended his reasons after a Daily Mail investigation questioned elements of the deal that saw him acquire it last year.

It was also stated in that report how he was looking to sell for £50m this summer, which would represent a significant mark-up on what he bought Sunderland for on the cheap following relegation from the Championship.

The Daily Mail highlighted how the use of parachute payments from the Premier League relegation have been used to fund the purchase and reduce the figure Donald and Charlie Methven had to pay - - something the latter previously hinted at in his match-day programme notes last September.

Donald points to the fact that it was part of the agreement reached with Short, who was desperate to sell Sunderland and painted the picture the club’s future would be under serious threat if was not approved by football chiefs.

That meant Sunderland's parachute payments from the Premier League would be used to pay off the final part of the club's external debts to SBC and they have been. Donald has been in talks seeking fresh investment to take the club forward.

In a statement, Donald wrote: "Madrox agreed a deal worth £40m with Ellis Short. This was £15m plus last summer’s parachute payment of £25m – which came in just after we took over and was ring-fenced to pay off the last bit of bank debt.

“So together Ellis and I ensured that the club would be debt free. Ellis by writing off his own debt of £80m and then, with the assistance of that last parachute payment, paying off the £70m of bank debt the club had accrued.

“And me by refusing to ‘port’ Ellis’ debt onto our books, as usually happens when clubs are taken over. We then took over Sunderland’s extensive football debts and legal liabilities, amounting to around £30m at the time of the takeover, and have gradually worked our way through them, negotiating hard all the way.

“Instead of having last summer’s parachute payment to settle these debts, Juan Sartori and I have had to inject our own money and continue to do so even now, effectively writing down the £25m parachute payment that was advanced to Ellis.

"In the meantime, of course, there has also been investment on the playing side of the club, which has seen a record League One playing wages bill and a record League One transfer budget.

“I have been clear from the outset that we bought the club at a rock bottom price because of the dreadful financial state it was in. If I simply wished to make money out of Sunderland, we could have skimped on investment in the playing staff.

“And, we could have accepted Ellis' offer to port a large portion of his previous debt onto our company, kept the details of the purchase more confidential and sold the club in its entirety - for which I have had plenty of big offers.

"Instead, I have been as open and transparent as possible with the fans and I am clear that I wish to retain a significant investment in the club for the long-term. The notion that I am going to leave Sunderland in the short-term, having made a quick profit, is simply wrong.

"Just over a year ago, Sunderland was in very poor condition, both on and off the field. Twelve months on, the club is debt free and is in a position to come close to break-even over the next 12 months.

“Furthermore, I am now in the process of ensuring that there is the appropriate level of investment available to provide competitive playing budgets on an ongoing basis. The turnaround has been very profound, and Ellis, ourselves and Sunderland's wonderful fans have all played our respective parts in that."

Donald, who has outlined that he will be clarifying the situation further on the fans' podcast Roker Report next week, has won over the fans since this season with a string of ideas to reconnnect the supporters with the club.

And on Sunday he is hoping that his first year in charge at the Stadium of Light will end with Sunderland beating Charlton at Wembley to secure a return to the Championship under manager Jack Ross.