Sunderland AFC takeover news RECAP: Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and Stewart Donald react as deal is completed
It’s been an excellent couple of days for Sunderland AFC after the club reached a Wembley cup finals and a takeover deal was completed.
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has become the club’s new Chairman and controlling shareholder after the EFL sanctioned the move.
We’ve got all the reaction to today’s news as well as all the details after Lee Johnson’s side reached the final of the Papa John’s Trophy following a penalty shootout win over Lincoln City – scroll down for the latest:
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RECAP: Sunderland AFC takeover news (February 18)
Last updated: Saturday, 20 February, 2021, 10:27
And welcome to our live blog!
It's the start of a new era for Sunderland as they head to Burton Albion for what is the first official game of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus' ownership.
While the billionaire has been present at fixtures for a few weeks now, his takeover was only ratified on Thursday - so the new dawn begins today!
And the Black Cats couldn't have picked a tougher start (even if the league table suggests otherwise!). Burton are a side growing in form and the Pirelli Stadium hasn't been a happy hunting ground for Sunderland in recent years.
Let's hope that changes today - as we bring you the latest from the big game in League One...
Thanks for joining us today
Wow, what a day!
We're signing off from today's blog but we've got loads more news, reaction and analysis on the SAFC section of the Echo website.
See you soon.
Reaction to the takeover
Full story on today’s breaking news
“I would like to thank Stewart, the Board of Directors and the EFL for their diligence and support throughout the recent process. I am proud to become a custodian of this esteemed institution, but I also recognise the significant responsibility that comes with it.
"Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter in Sunderland AFC’s history and although the current landscape facing football dictates that there are challenges to overcome, I am confident that together we can weather the present storm and put solid foundations in place to bring sustainable and long-term success to the club.”
Stewart Donald on the takeover
“I am delighted to welcome Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to the club as our new chairman and controlling shareholder. Kyril’s commitment, acumen and integrity convinced us to accept his proposal. His vision and desire to bring success back to Sunderland was obvious from the outset and his bid is the one that we feel gives the club the best chance of long-term success and sustainability.
“When we entered into negotiations with Ellis Short three years ago, Sunderland was nearly £200 million in debt, was losing £35 million per annum, and had all but been relegated to League One. Our plan was to work hard to turn around the finances of the club, put it on a stable footing and to get promoted back into the Championship.
"I am proud to say that we have achieved what we set out to in terms of SAFC’s finances – the club is debt-free, was breaking even prior to the pandemic and has retained its Category One Academy status. However, it is no secret that – despite spending the highest transfer fees and playing wages in League One history – progress on the pitch has not followed suit. That has been a bitter disappointment for us as owners, and we can only apologise for falling short in this regard."
Sunderland received approval from the EFL for Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to acquire a controlling interest in the club.
Louis-Dreyfus will become the Black Cats' new chairman with immediate effect, with Stewart Donald, Juan Sartori and Charlie Methven each retaining a minority shareholding.
Positive news on the takeover front
Watch Lee Johnson’s press conference in full...
Lee Johnson is here!
And here's what the Sunderland boss had to say...
We are a little bit thin on the ground, I won't lie to you. I don't think people realise how much there is to consider in each team selection. Up front and forward areas we're blessed - at the back, if you have five centre backs injured it's going to be difficult.
On Bailey Wright
He's probably 50/50.
I like them. I think they're a good side and I think the league table, for the short-term, is a bit false.
On players stepping in to unfamiliar roles...
That was one of the real positives out of last night. The commitment of the lads to buy into it, you don't always get that. That's the sign of a good squad. Not one player grumbled. Luke O'Nien, bless him, has had to play about 17 positions but gets on with it.
On fixture congestion...
It's been relentless. The squads and the clubs that are flexible and that have a good back-up team become really important. We can build-up a head of steam, no doubt.
We really do believe in ourselves and that we can put the run together that we need. We've had to do a lot of video analysis work and bombard the players with tactical detail. Those draws in the league will hopefully turn to wins on the back of that minute detail.