Eastleigh chairman Stewart Donald has put the Vanarama National League club up for sale as he fronts a takeover at Sunderland.

Sunderland, recently relegated from the Championship, say the deal with Donald’s consortium is ‘subject only to English Football League approval’ and former Wales boss Chris Coleman has left his post as manager. Outgoing owner Ellis Short told the club’s website as part of his statement: “I have paid off all debts owed by the club to leave it financially strong and debt-free for the first time since years before I owned it.”

Donald, who has been at Eastleigh since 2011 and oversaw their rise to the fifth tier, also released a statement to Sunderland and Eastleigh’s websites. On the Spitfires’ site, he said:

“My focus now must move to finding a suitable owner who will understand the ethos of the club. It is vital to ensure that the club continues to provide affordable football and progresses on the field whilst incurring absolutely no debt. I always ensured Eastleigh was run without debt and that any money provided was never going to create any debt.

“I would like to assure the fans that I will not charge for the sale of the club and do my very best to ensure that the club is passed to an individual or group that understands these principles and is committed to continuing them.”

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