Sunderland have officially confirmed the arrival of Kristjaan Speakman as the club’s new Sporting Director.
Speakman arrives at the club in advance of the finalisation of the Kyril Louis-Dreyfus/Juan Sartori takeover and will be tasked with rebuilding a club that is missing personnel in key positions.
Arriving at the club from Birmingham City, where the 41-year-old was the Academy Manager, Speakman had been at the Blues since 2006 and had been more involved in first team affairs but those responsibilities had been stripped back after the arrival of Aitor Karanka and will now take up a more senior position at the Academy of Light.
In a chat with SAFC.com, he said:
“I have been tasked with delivering a best-in-class player development model from the academy through to the senior squad and given a realistic timeframe and budget with which to do so. It is an absolute honour to have been invited to do this at one of England’s biggest clubs.
“The blueprint for the future and the ambition to create a sustainable structure with a clear identity is one I will work diligently and passionately to bring to fruition for Sunderland fans. I’m grateful for the autonomy granted me by the ownership group to pursue this plan and create something we can all be proud of.
“We understand the frustration of the present circumstances and whilst we seek patience and continued support for the longer-term objectives, we are absolutely determined to fix key issues in the short term to establish a winning team. The task of appointing a Head Coach who is both aligned to the overall plan and capable of impacting the team’s performance and style in the immediate weeks and months is a priority above all else.
“I fully understand the potential of the football club and I’m looking forward to working collectively with staff, players and fans to restore the club to its rightful place in the Premier League. There’s no doubt about the size of the task ahead of us and the need to be pragmatic in our approach, but we all share the same dream and the work starts now to make this a reality.”
Want to know more about Kristjaan Speakman? We’ve got you covered.
Roker Report took a look at the club’s new Sporting Director and you can read that HERE and we also spoke to former Birmingham City Academy coach Jack Kennedy to get the lowdown on Speakman, which you can read HERE.