Kyril Louis-Dreyfus welcomes ex-owner to Stadium of Light for Accrington Stanley game after fallout kept him away

The Black Cats defeated Stanley on Wearside last Saturday to move clear at the top of League One.

Monday, 13th September 2021, 7:39 pm

A breathless first half saw Sunderland take the lead through a Dan Neil screamer before Stanley levelled the scores after a Michael Nottingham header.

Carl Winchester put Lee Johnson’s men back ahead in the second half and Sunderland were able to hold on for the win and remain top of the division.

But there are some moments that are easily missed whilst celebrating in the stadium and others that aren’t picked up by highlights packages.

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Bob Murray, then chairman of Sunderland, watches from the stands during the Barclays Premiership match between Sunderland and Blackburn Rovers at the Stadium of Light in 2006.

Here, we take a look at some of the more interesting goings-on at the Stadium of Light whilst Sunderland played Accrington Stanley:

Former Sunderland owner Sir Bob Murray in the stadium as Sunderland take on Accrington Stanley

Sir Bob Murray needs no introduction on Wearside.

After all, the local businessmen purchased his boyhood club and brought it into the modern age after building a new stadium and a state-of-the-art training ground.

Murray, now 75-years-old, also oversaw the glory years under Peter Reid which produced back-to-back seventh-placed finishes in the Premier League.

But it all ended in tears and relegation as Murray sold the club to the Drumavile consortium in 2006.

However, his positive impact on Sunderland should not be understated despite the messy end to his ownership.

But for so long, Sunderland’s former chairman was not welcome at the stadium he had built.

That’s after a serious rift developed between Murray and another Sunderland owner, Ellis Short.

Murray has previously commented that Short did ‘everything wrong’ and then referred to Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven as ‘a couple of chancers’ following their ownership.

But it appears there is no such rift between Murray and Sunderland’s new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

Indeed, Murray was in the directors’ box at the Stadium of Light for the game against Accrington Stanley at the invitation of Louis-Dreyfus and was spotted by several fans.

It was nice to see him there, too.

To know that the man who did so much for Sunderland could step foot in the stadium again after so long. Those famous gates, after all, are named after him.

And Murray has indeed been on the record previously endorsing Louis-Dreyfus’ ownership.

Speaking last April, he said: “Our owner now, I really like him. I’m going to support this young man.

“I’m going to do everything he would ask me. I’m going to get behind him and I’m not going to get involved but I would do anything I can to move that club forward.

“He’s reached out to me, we’ve had quite a few long conversations, we’ve got meetings arranged and I’m going to a game with him, he’s saying all the right things.”

It comes across as shrewd and constructive that Sunderland’s new ownership group shows a willingness to listen to past figures.

It may allow them to gather a sense of how things should be done and, crucially, how things should not be done.

Murray’s mistakes are well-documented but perhaps having an older man with experience in football around could be a positive thing going forward.

Or it could all end in tears… you just never know with this club.

Whatever happens, though, the Murray-Louis-Dreyfus relationship makes for another interesting caveat in the always-developing story of Sunderland AFC.

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