The key element of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus' first week as Sunderland chairman that should delight supporters
It’s on old adage that a week is a long time in football - but you won’t have heard Sunderland fans complaining about that of late.
The last seven days have brought confirmation of a change in ownership and what has felt like a never-ending wave of positivity ever since. It’s a week few wanted to end.
Of course, results have helped matters with the Black Cats’ two league wins since the takeover was confirmed vital ones in the context of the promotion race.
But it’s the impact of Louis-Dreyfus and the behind the scenes changes that have accompanied his arrival that have really resonated with supporters.
Much of this change came prior to the formal confirmation of the change in ownership. The 23-year-old himself referenced the appointments of Lee Johnson, Kristjaan Speakman and Steve Davison as key for implementing his vision, and all of these moves were made before Louis-Dreyfus was officially handed the keys to the building.
But since that point, the change has continued. We’ve seen an academy restructure, new appointments on the board and a firm line drawn in the sand in terms of the Madrox era.
The removal of Stewart Donald and Juan Sartori as directors of the club only served to emphasise that it is now Louis-Dreyfus calling the shots at the Academy of Light.
And in among all these changes, there is one element that should please supporters over and above everything else. It’s the use of a phrase, one which the chairman himself used several times during his first interview with the club, too.
It’s something that hasn’t generally been associated with Sunderland’s actions in recent years.
We’ve seen plenty of promises - such as those of 100-point seasons and the gravy train being halted - that may have curried some favour in the short-term, but were not followed by meaningful actions.
Such comments only served to emphasise the short-termism which had plagued the club since their drop into League One. There was little evidence of a coherent plan being implemented with the club seemingly stumbling from season-to-season while sticking plasters in a bid to fend off any immediate issues.
We can already say with some confidence that this will not be the case under the new ownership.
Issues are now being overcome with a longer-term and more holistic view in mind. There is a focus on the here and now, naturally, but it’s all about the long-term - both for Sunderland, and for Louis-Dreyfus himself.
Let’s be frank, two of the big-hitters of the Louis-Dreyfus Group in Igor Levin and Patrick Treuer wouldn’t have joined the club’s board if the new chairman wasn’t in this for the long haul - and all of his actions thus far have suggested that he is here to stay.
Now, fans can finally look forward with some hope for the future.
We’ve been here before, of course, but this new-found hope is already well-grounded.
Louis-Dreyfus has made a point of not talking the talk but instead walking the walk, already delivering tangible improvements during his opening week in charge.
And those seven days have allowed fans to dream again - of weeks like this becoming the norm, of promotion, and of a brighter long-term future.
After recent years, that’s the least they deserve.