Kyril Louis-Dreyfus (KLD) might be the best thing that has happened to the club for the last 15 years at least. If not for the last 30 or 60 years. The club seems to have been a mess at least since Niall Quinn left.
I figure Bob Murray was, in some aspects, a great leader of the club: where would the club be today without the Stadium of Light and the Academy of Light? And it seems the club was in great shape in the golden era of the 1950s and earlier from what I have read from older fans.
Back to KLD. It is, of course, way too early to tell whether he is a great club owner or not. But from my perspective the early signs are encouraging.
KLD seems intent on thinking long-term and instilling a healthy club culture.
- Hiring a seemingly great director in Kristjaan Speakman
- Seemingly building a hugely improved recruitment team
- Strategic, prudent recruitment for the long term. Getting value for money. Getting the right type of player, not least when it comes to personality and playing style. Finding personalities that match the healthy, hard-working culture the club wants to instill.
- Also seemingly improved recruitment and retainment when it comes to youth players.
- Gone are the days with overpaying for semi-random signings just to bump up the numbers. Such a style brings economical chaos. Panic signings usually become worthless deadwood within months, being a drag on the wage budget. SAFC must have had hundreds of such players during the last 15 years. I am happy that the future could be very different.
- Waiting for value for money, Moneyball-style, quality signings. Trusting the existent squad and youth players in the waiting time before great value signing opportunities present themselves.
- Not overpaying to retain existent players either. Not giving in to possibly hefty wage demands from the likes of Wyke and Hume.
- Seemingly bringing in some great characters at the top of the club who seem to work well together (Speakman and Lee Johnson, probably others as well)
- I read somewhere that KLD actually relocated to the northeast area. I hope that is correct. If so, that is a great statement of intent and sincere passion for the club. Distant owners are not ideal.
All in all, great things seem to be happening to the club in the KLD era. This could be the real thing. The upper management might be competent for a change, which would be a big contrast to what we have witnessed for the last 15 years at least. Perhaps the club now has a frontal lobe at the top. Some IQ. People skills. I see promising signs regarding instilling and strengthening a healthy club culture, thinking long term, being economically balanced, smart and prudent. I love it.
I hope that KLD goes further down this route. If so, he should receive massive support and appreciation from us fans and locals on a regular basis.
I hope the club continues to develop as well as the early signs in the KLD era might suggest.