MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 14:31:53| >> :600:1730727:1730727:

Fan trio withdraw interest in purchasing Sunderland

A Sunderland-supporting trio in the running to purchase the club from Ellis Short have pulled out, leaving just one interested party.

A group of Sunderland supporters have pulled out of a move to purchase the club as the 'time is not right' to push through a deal.

Leo Pearlman, Ben Turner and Gareth Turner, who own Fulwell 73 Productions, were one of two parties to have shown an interest in buying the Black Cats from Ellis Short.

The television executives announced on Wednesday afternoon that they have withdrawn their interest in taking control of the Championship club, however, leaving just one consortium - thought to be German - in the running.

"As life-long Sunderland supporters, it would be the fulfilment of a dream to be involved in the ownership of the club, to put it back into the hands of the fans and to give the whole of Wearside a team to be proud of," a statement released to fanzine ALS read. "Our club is the biggest in the north-east, should be one of the biggest in the country and the Premier League is therefore the only place it belongs.

"We have been so touched and inspired by the reaction from our fellow supporters, who rightly deserve their reputation as the best fans in the world. However, due to our other TV and film commitments, now isn't the right time for us to get involved. It's where our hearts are and would demand a huge personal commitment, and we wouldn't want to give anything less than our all to the club. We owe that to all the other fans for whom, like us, SAFC is such an integral part of their histories and future.

"Whether it is Mr [Ellis] Short who remains in control or new owners who come in, we will always support the lads and offer any assistance, at any level, in helping to re-establish this great club at the level it deserves to be."

Sunderland, preparing for their first season of Championship football since 2007, kick off their campaign with a home match against Derby County on August 4.

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Chairman of Sunderland AFC, Ellis Short, during the launch of a pioneering partnership between Invest in Africa and Sunderland AFC at Stadium of Light on June 25, 2012
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