STEWART DONALD has been given the keys to Sunderland despite paying ex-owner Ellis Short only an EIGHTH of the agreed sale price.
The insurance tycoon, 43, completed his takeover of the League One club on Monday in a £40million deal.
PA:Press Association Stewart Donald has paid just an eighth of the agreed sale price for Sunderland
But SunSport understands Donald has so far only handed over £5m to Short, leading to fears about his overall wealth.
Donald has two years to pay the full £40m, which Short has secured against the Premier League parachute payments the Black Cats are due – around £45m over the next two years.
But the former owner of non-league Eastleigh will also have to shell out at least £25m to other clubs for past player transfers.
And Donald will have to foot the bill for Sunderland’s astronomical running costs, which were as high as £500,000-a-week before he took charge, with Jack Rodwell and Lee Cattermole both contracted to earn more than £40,000-a-week in League One next season.
PA:Press Association The Black Cats’ new owner has two years to pay £40m but so far has handed over just £5m
Donald only had to prove he had £50m in cash to pass the EFL’s checks on prospective owners.
But SunSport has discovered he only gained approval after his initial business plan was rewritten with the help of the outgoing Sunderland board.
JACK THE LAD Sunderland close to appointing Jack Ross as new boss
Donald is travelling to the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend to speak to Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori about a potential investment.
Yet he has already started making a raft of redundancies as part of a major cost-cutting operation.