Sunderland Takeover: Kyril Louis-Dreyfus Purchase Approved by EFL

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Following more than one year of uncertainty, the EFL have today approved Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ takeover of Sunderland. The 23-year-old has acquired a controlling interest in the League One club and will also become the new chairman at the Stadium of Light. Former owner Stewart Donald along with Juan Sartori and Charlie Methven will retain a minority shareholding in the club.

Sunderland Takeover Approved by EFL

Stewart Donald Statement

Former owner Stewart Donald, who is now a minority shareholder, issued a statement following the news that billionaire Louis-Dreyfus had been approved to take over from him at Sunderland. Donald said: “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.

“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.”

Sunderland Takeover Approved: New Owner Speaks

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has spoken for the first time following several weeks of rumours and negotiations. During the past two weeks, Louis-Dreyfus has become more visible on Wearside and at games. He watched from the stands at a recent away game at Shrewsbury Town then saw the Black Cats beat promotion rivals Doncaster Rovers 4-1 at the Stadium of Light. Last night he witnessed the team progress to the final of the EFL Trophy.

Speaking following his takeover being approved, he said: “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.”

Deal Has Been in the Hands of the EFL

Sunderland had been waiting for the green light from the EFL to be able to complete the takeover for several weeks. Before the EFL approved the deal, they wanted assurances that Stewart Donald and co would continue to help fund the club for the next two years. They finally received the assurances they wanted and approved the deal. Fans may now be able to look forward to an exciting future for their club.

FFP Sunderland Loan Repaid in Full

The group FFP Sunderland, which was formed by several American businessmen who initially held talks to take over the club, instead gave the club a loan believed to have been £12 million. The loan saw the group hold a charge over all of the club’s assets, including the Stadium of Light and the Academy of Light. According to the Sunderland Echo, the loan has now been repaid in full; however, it is unclear if the loan was repaid by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

 

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