Everything Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said on his Sunderland vision, new appointments and key behind the scenes changes

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ first interview as Sunderland chairman was met with intrigue by supporters – as they looked to hear the new majority shareholder deliver his vision for the club.

Thursday, 25th February 2021, 10:00 am

And the 23-year-old didn’t disappoint, delivering some key detail behind his plans for the Black Cats during a lengthy interview with the club’s official website.

It was an interview that left fans enthused and optimistic, as Sunderland look to build upon what has been a positive fortnight both on and off the pitch.

A whole host of topics were discussed in Louis-Dreyfus’ first interview – from cost-cutting to communication, planning to panic and new appointments to new starters.

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Everything Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said on his Sunderland vision, new appointments and key behind the scenes changes

Here’s everything the chairman said in his sit-down with the club:

On sealing the takeover...

I'm very happy to be here and very proud as well. However, I'm fully aware about the huge responsibility that I have right now going forward. To be honest I've grown up as the son of a football club owner, so I've always been close to the sport. I have a lot of great memories and it's my passion that I really, truly have.

On planning for the deal...

I have been [preparing for this for a while]. The takeover has taken much longer than we all expected to have which is why at this point I'm going to say I'm very thankful to all the supporters and all the staff for all the patience they've shown over these last few weeks and months when it took longer than we all expected it to take. I've obviously had a lot of thoughts going forward over these last five months - what we want to achieve, and how we want to try and get sustainability and success - and I think it all comes down to having a long-term vision, which we have now began with the appointments of Kristjaan Speakman, Steve Davison and Lee Johnson which I believe will play a key role in us going forward.

On a new dawn at the Stadium of Light...

I'm happy it's a fresh start for the club. It's been many years now when the club has had no real long-term vision and cost-cutting at its forefront which basically led to asset stripping in almost all departments at the club, which requires rebuilding from the start. It's going to be a long-term plan, hopefully the fans and club can take it together which will hopefully bring better times for the club.

On communicating with fans...

I think we need to have a structured engagement programme with the supporters to basically communicate what we're trying to do and where we're trying to go. This is something we'll try and implement as soon as now, basically.

On why he opted to buy Sunderland over other clubs...

A lot of clubs are struggling at the moment and this pandemic has been the biggest shock for football clubs most probably in the last few years or even longer. It's a tough time for football clubs and a lot of them are on sale. Sunderland has always been special because I've always admired this club for the passion the supporters have for this club, the great history it has got, the stadium is known all over the world and is very impressive, and I believe there is a big underdeveloped potential in this club which I hope to achieve. However, I would like to say that it is a tough climate that we're in right now. The next months will be challenging and there are pandemic-related losses that will require investment from the ownership. But we're confident that over time we will get out of this stronger and bring success.

On having a long-term vision and the new appointments still to come...

I think it's very important in football not to panic. A key moment will be this season. I truly believe we can get promoted this season because we have a very strong squad. a good manager and the league is still open to play. However, we need to follow our long-term plan. We can't panic if we fall short this year. We believe the club needs to be rebuilt from the foundation and it starts with the appointments of Kristjaan, Steve and Lee. There will be multiple appointments following in the next weeks. We've had the academy leadership team announced this week and we slowly start to rebuild.

On attending games in the empty Stadium of Light - and one of his key early changes...

It's an awkward situation to be in the stadium and hear the players on the pitch and for it to be quiet all game. However, we obviously miss the fans and we will welcome the fans as soon as we can to the Stadium of Light. I think that, especially in this pandemic when people are at home in lockdown, it's important for us to try and get this stadium match day experience as close to the fans from home as possible. We've started with changing the streaming and we'll also see how else we can change it. We're open to feedback from the fans and we hope to be able to make it as enjoyable for them as possible.

On driving the city forward...

It's a tough time for the whole community and supporters as well. I think post-pandemic it will require the club, the community and potentially the Foundation of Light to work together and build the city to maybe even better times than before.

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