Irish

Monday 28 July 2014

Irish billionaire Short pumps €50m into Sunderland FC

Nick Webb

Published 07/10/2012|05:00

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Irish billionaire Ellis Short has pumped more than €50m into the English Premier League's Sunderland FC since taking control of the team from a group of Irish builders and publicans in 2005.

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Last year, Short injected €22.4m into Sunderland FC via his Drumaville company, according to new filings. This brings the total amount of money lent to the club by Drumaville up to €50.3m.

"The loan is unsecured, has no set repayment date and is interest free," the files read.

Although sales rose about 20 per cent to €99m, Sunderland racked up heavy pre-tax losses last year of €9.7m. The losses are down on the €34.8m in losses recorded in 2010.

Sunderland has the biggest smattering of top Irish internationals of any premiership club with John O'Shea, James McClean, Kieron Westwood and David Meyler all lining out for the club, managed by former Northern Ireland international Martin O'Neill.

While Irish tycoons JP McManus, John Magnier and Dermot Desmond all made a fortune from Man Utd shares, Ellis Short is currently the only major Irish investor owning a team in the Premiership, which is dominated by US, Gulf and Russian owners.

The low-profile Short took out Irish citizenship in January 2010, according to a brief notice in Iris Oifiguil. Short made his fortune in private equity, helping to build up John Grayken's vast Lone Star funds in Texas. Grayken also has Irish citizenship.

Last year, the Sunday Independent revealed Short met with top officials from the Department of the Taoiseach and financial sector bigwigs over plans to create a major bailout fund for Irish banks.

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