Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is obsessed with Sunderland says Kristjaan Speakman as transfer approach is explained

Kristjaan Speakman says Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is obsessed with what’s going on at the club.

The French businessman became the Black Cats’ majority shareholder in June and now holds a 51% stake, with co-owner Juan Sartori owning 30%.

Louis-Dreyfus has regularly attended matches since becoming Sunderland chairman in February 2021, while his brother Maurice is also on the club’s board.

“Kyril is obsessed with what’s going on with the club and he’s absolutely in tune with every working part,” Speakman told SAFC Unfiltered, with Sunderland sitting fifth in the Championship after 10 games.

Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman Richard Sellers/PA Wire.

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“From that perspective I think he’s obviously pleased, I’ve spent some time with him at the games, they don’t miss games, they’re here regularly.

“Obviously when we had the change of coach Kyril was here the next morning, let’s get on with it, sort out what we’re doing.

“It’s really, really nice to have that level of support and obviously they are really, really pleased.

“It doesn’t change anything because our strategy and everything that works underneath that strategy continues as normal, there’s no really big upheaval and changes.”

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And while Sunderland have spent money to improve their squad this summer, Speakman was also keen to highlight investment elsewhere.

“In terms of behind the scenes, we’ve just invested I think just short of £200-grand on a brand-new gym in the summer,” Speakman added. “That was signed off even as a League One team which I think shows the level of commitment of the ownership to keep improving things here at the Academy of Light.

“We’ve had some new members of staff join as we are trying to build out the team. Jamie Harley has joined us as the Head of Performance and Medicine and had a really good start in that position, making some really good positive strides. That’s an area of focus.

“When you have some infrastructure investment like the gym, we are giving people the right type of environment to work at their very, very best. That side of it is all really positive.

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Still, despite Sunderland’s promising start to the season and arrival of new head coach Tony Mowbray, Speakman says the club will continue to have a measured approach in the January transfer window.

“We did an original plan and coming out of the back of the window there were 14 games until the break and then four to the window after the World Cup break,” Speakman added.

“We had mapped out that we’d have a more in-depth review after that World Cup period.

“I’ve seen some media reports that if we’re in seventh place going into the window Tony is getting a war chest and all this.

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“I need to be really, really clear as we’re going to keep building in the manner that we’ve been building in, and when there are opportunities to sign the right type of players then we’re going to try and sign the right type of players.

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“What we’re not going to do is make decisions that have got long-term effect to fix a short-term problem.

“From our perspective we want to keep growing and developing. What we can’t start to do is make a series of bad decisions that puts us in a worse position further down the line.”