The Drumaville Consortium
is a group of seven Irish
businessmen and one English businessman led by former footballer Niall Quinn
, who were involved in the 2006 takeover
of English Premier League
football club Sunderland A.F.C.
. The consortium
is named after the village of Drumaville
The consortium consists of Niall Quinn and eight other businessmen: :
- Niall Quinn has 1180 shares and is currently Chairman of Sunderland A.F.C. - The former Irish international striker was a fan's favourite during his spell at Sunderland. In 2002 he donated the proceeds of his testimonial match to charities in both Sunderland and Ireland. Quinn often expressed his affinity for the club, and in 2006 reports began to circulate that Quinn had spoken to Sunderland chairman Bob Murray with regards to buying out Murray's shares in the club. On July 3 a successful offer for the club was announced, with Quinn becoming club chairman immediately, pending the successful purchase of 90% of the club's shares.
- Charlie Chawke has 1180 shares - Publican, and owner of the Charlie Chawke Group of pubs. In October 2003 Chawke was shot in the leg during an armed robbery of one of his pubs..
- Louis Fitzgerald has 1180 shares - Owner of the Louis Fitzgerald Group of 24 pubs with an estimated wealth of £86m . The Dublin publican supremo added another asset to his licensed property portfolio, by snapping up The Arlington Hotel on Bachelors Walk near O'Connell Street in Dublin 1 in an off-market deal believed to be worth €37 million.
- Jack Tierney has 1180 shares - Property developer and owner of Faxhill Homes.
- Paddy Kelly has 2360 shares Paddy is a Property developer and owner of Kelland Homes, Rockbriar and Markland Holdings with an estimated wealth of £80m.
- Pat Beirne has 738 shares - Property developer.
- John Hays has 1180 shares and is currently Vice Chairman of Sunderland A.F.C. - Owner of Sunderland-based travel company 'Nobody offers you more' Hays Travel. Hays is the only Sunderland-born member of (and indeed the only Englishman in) the consortium.
- Patsy Byrne has 1180 shares - Property developer and owner of Byrne Bros (Formwork) Ltd, that was founded by Patsy and Johnny Byrne in 1969, and is one of the leading UK Concrete Frame contractors.
While Sean Mulryan had been rumoured to have been part of the initial consortium, his name was absent from the list of consortium members revealed on July 3, 2006. However, an article on May 13, 2007 in the Irish Sunday Business Post newspaper claimed that "Markland, a company jointly owned by Mulryan and Paddy Kelly[...] owns 25 per cent of Drumaville", suggesting his silent involvement in the club. Mulryan is also reported to have attended at at least one Sunderland match in the 2006-7 season.
On September 7, 2008 it was reported in the Irish Sunday Business Post that new shares had been issued to raise additional funding of up to £50 million (€62 million) for new players. It was understood that a number of the original consortium members did not take part in the fund rising and therefore their percentage share holding reduced. Niall Quinn was quoted as saying that the Drumaville Consortium was still intact and the individuals behind it remained the driving force behind the club.
On September 25, 2008 it was reported that Ellis Short, a Dallas-based millionaire Irish-American fund manager, became the largest single shareholder in the Drumaville Consortium with a 30% buy-in. It is not known how this affected the shares of the original members. Short is one of the co-founders of Lone Star Funds.
- On April 19 2006, Quinn confirmed he was in the process of gathering a consortium for the purpose of launching a takeover bid for Sunderland. This followed a month of rumour and speculation.
- Nine days later, on April 28, Sunderland confirmed they were in talks with a group led by Quinn, although they stated that no firm offer for the club had been made.
- On June 14, Bob Murray announced his resignation as Sunderland chairman as of June 30, but announced that he would remain on the board of directors of the club.
- On July 3, Sunderland announced that they had accepted an offer from the consortium valuing the club at around £10m, with Niall Quinn becoming club chairman.
- On July 27 2006, Drumaville Ltd took full control of Sunderland Football Club after securing 89.13% of the shares in Sunderland Ltd.