This is why Stewart Donald has apologised to Sunderland fans as Kyril Louis-Dreyfus takes charge

Outgoing Sunderland majority shareholder Stewart Donald has apologised for ‘falling short’, but said everything in Madrox’s acrimonious tenure was done ‘with the best of intentions’.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 5:34 pm
Sunderland's Stadium of Light.

It comes as Kyril Louis-Dreyfus said he was ‘proud to become a custodian of this esteemed’ institution after he was confirmed as chairman and majority shareholder.

Details of his exact shareholding in the club have not yet been disclosed, with Stewart Donald, Charlie Methven and Juan Sartori all retaining a minority stake.

The news came shortly after a Companies House update confirmed that FPP Sunderland’s charge over the club had been satisfied.

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Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is Sunderland's new Chairman and controlling shareholder

In a statement, Donald apologised to fans.

“I am delighted to welcome Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to the club as our new chairman and controlling shareholder,” Donald said.

"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.

“Whilst we certainly made mistakes, everything was done with the best of intentions with the view to deliver this aim, but we just fell short and in football, unfortunately, a miss is as good as a mile. However, with the club just having booked its third Wembley final in three seasons and still being in the hunt for promotion, the foundations are set for better times.

"We hope and believe that the new management team, with Kyril at its head, can finally complete the turnaround and get the club climbing the divisions once again.”

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