Sunderland AFC takeover news RECAP: Reaction to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus deal as Lee Johnson's side prepare for Burton Albion clash
It’s been a memorable week for Sunderland after reaching a Wembley cup final and the completion of a takeover deal.
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has become the club’s new chairman and controlling shareholder after the EFL sanctioned the move.
Details of his exact shareholding in the club have not yet been revealed, with Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven and Juan Sartori all retaining a minority stake.
On the pitch, the Black Cats are preparing for this weekend’s trip to Burton Albion in League One as Lee Johnson’s side hope to boost their promotion hopes.
Johnson is hopeful defender Bailey Wright will be available for the match after he was forced off with an injury against Lincoln in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Midfielder Josh Scowen was also forced off and is a doubt for the match.
We’ll have all the latest news, analysis, reaction and more throughout the day – stick around and refresh the page for updates:
LIVE: Sunderland AFC takeover news (February 19)
Last updated: Friday, 19 February, 2021, 10:54
What a week we've had!
Sunderland are preparing for a trip to Wembley after reaching the final of the Papa John's Trophy, while the club's takeover deal has also been completed.
We'll have all the latest Black Cats news, analysis and more throughout the day, as Lee Johnson's side prepare for Saturday's trip to Burton.
Stick around and refresh the page for live updates throughout the day.
Sunderland have finally 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.
Get the lowdown on the Black Cats' new chairman HERE
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."
“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.”
On the pitch, Sunderland are preparing for this weekend's trip to Burton.
Defender Bailey Wright has a '50/50' chance of being available for the match after he was forced off with a muscle injury against Lincoln in the Papa John's Trophy.
Oliver Younger and Tom Flanagan are both also currently sidelined, but could come back into contention towards the end of next week when the Black Cats visit Crewe Alexandra.
Midfielder Josh Scowen is also an injury doubt for the trip to Burton, after being replaced on Wednesday evening with a minor hamstring issue.
Jim Rodwell has left the club
Outgoing owner Stewart Donald said: “Jim’s tireless work and calm professionalism in dealing with numerous bidding entities over the course of the last year or so has helped us achieve a very difficult task.
"Selling a football club is never straightforward, but to do so in the current environment has been especially challenging. I want to place on record my warm thanks for completing the task that he embarked upon back in the spring and wish him the very best for wherever his career takes him next.”
Jim Rodwell has reacted
Rodwell said: “It was an honour to be appointed CEO of such an iconic club and I will always be grateful for the opportunity Stewart Donald gave me. I also want to thank the Board and staff at SAFC for the support they have given me during some exceptionally difficult times.
"It will always be a sadness that I did not get to experience a full and buzzing Stadium of Light as CEO – but the supporters who I have met during my time in the city have only reaffirmed what a wonderful support base the club is so fortunate to have.
"I am in no doubt that with control being transferred to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, whose family have a stellar track record in football club ownership, those fans can look forward to a bright future.”
And new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has been speaking
Louis-Dreyfus said: “I would like to thank Jim for the support that he has given me during the sale process.
"His integrity and professionalism have been much in evidence, and the good leadership he has displayed in maintaining the stability of the club during the Covid-19 pandemic should also be recognised. We all wish him well for the future.”