Sunderland AFC takeover: Why no news is good news as fans await updates on Kyril Louis-Dreyfus deal

As we tick into mid-January, focus has once again turned to the Sunderland AFC takeover.

Wednesday, 20th January 2021, 4:00 pm

The deal, which will see Kyril Louis-Dreyfus confirmed as majority shareholder of the club, was confirmed on Christmas Eve with documentation subsequently lodged with the EFL.

At that point, the hope was that a deal could be concluded by the middle of this month.

So as we enter that period, it's natural that focus will again drift to impending change of ownership.

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Sunderland AFC remain on track to be purchased by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus

Since that initial statement, updates have been scarce - but that is no bad thing.

It's an old adage that the takeovers that get done are the ones which aren't played out in public. Therefore, it was no surprise that the statement proclaiming the deal confirmed that neither club nor buyer would be making any further public comment.

The deal remains in the hands of the EFL as they comb through details on Louis-Dreyfus and his business plan before giving the green light.

Running commentary isn't typically offered on this process; with emails and documents sent back and forward and various discussions held, it's a process that is best left to be completed in privacy and confidentiality.

News will only come when the process reaches a resolution - so to that end, it's certainly a case that no news is good news at this moment in time.

The fact that there is no news emphasises that there have been no red flags, and that the checks are continuing. No major hitches are expected, and EFL sources expressed confidence that the timeline of the owners and directors test would not be majorly impacted by the state of play in the country at present.

That said, there is never a fixed time-scale placed on this process, so the wait for news may yet go on.

But while concrete updates may have been scarce, there have been signs that the ownership change is moving towards a positive resolution.

Kristjaan Speakman’s arrival looks set to kick-start a change in the footballing operations of the club, with the sporting director model common-place in France – where Louis-Dreyfus has seen Marseille operate at close quarters.

A head of player recruitment is set to follow in the coming months, while there have been some real changes in the business side of the operation too.

Steve Davison was appointed as chief operating officer earlier this week and it was perhaps telling that chief executive Jim Rodwell spoke of a ‘new era’ for Sunderland when welcoming the new appointment.

There was also the departure of Neil Fox as a club director which - albeit a small update in the grand scheme of things - felt significant in that it was another trusted adviser of Donald leaving the club.

So while the wait for news goes on, there can be a confidence that change will come.

The wheels are firmly in motion, and all that is needed now is the green light from the EFL.

There may be a wait for that, but it’s one Sunderland fans will no doubt be willing to endure if it culminates in the change this club needs.

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