Kevin Phillips has claimed he “cannot see” any potential takeover of Sunderland taking place given the current financial climate.
The former Stadium of Light striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the focus of owner Steward Donald will be on the financial stability of the club over the next six months.
In January, the club accepted pleas from fans for the Black Cats to be sold. A club statement read: “The Board understands that long-term success cannot be achieved by a disunited club.”
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However, the outbreak of COVID-19 across the UK has seen the EFL, Premier League and FA suspend all fixtures until April 30 – at the earliest.
When asked how the postponement could affect the potential sale of the club, Phillips told Football Insider: “It is unfortunate that this virus is having an effect on everything. It puts someone buying a football club in perspective. No wonder it has gone quiet in terms of that because we have other things to worry about and think about.
“I am pretty sure there are still discussions because business is still going on. Whether there will be an announcement before the season kicks off I doubt.
“Nobody knows how long this is going to take and where it is going to take us. So, to commit to buying a football club at the moment, I cannot see it happening.
“I do not think selling is at the forefront of the owner’s mind right now. He will just be concentrating on sustaining financial stability over the next six months or however long it will be.”
However, with Boris Johnson closing social venues on Saturday and a countrywide lockdown almost an inevitability, the resumption of the season appears far off.
Phil Parkinson’s side suffered an indifferent run of form prior to the break which has seen them slip outside the play-off spots.