Andrew Smithson says...
The news came out of the blue, but all that says to me is that Kyril Louis-Drefus likes to conduct his business professionally, which is exactly what we need at Sunderland. The timing was excellent too - it came just a couple of hours before the players returned to the Academy of Light, so there is a real sense now that everybody can focus on the pitch.
That said, I don’t think much will change football-wise. There has been a marked improvement since Kyril Louis-Dreyfus arrived anyway, and hopefully that will continue. His desire to have us run in a sustainable manner is already showing in how we scout and recruit players, and judging by the structure he has put in place it is clear he has been pulling the strings for some time.
What I would like to start seeing though is a bit more attention being paid to other areas of the club. Results come first and foremost I know, but certain aspects of the day-to-day running of SAFC need either updating or a bit of TLC. The steps made so far are encouraging, but there is scope to do more, and if the ownership can build on their positive start and expand on their ideas we’ll be laughing.
All of that is for down the line, however, and right now I’m chuffed to bits to see a lot of the questions that were hanging over us being removed - clarity is what we wanted after all, and it is even better for the fact it has not come with unwelcome investment from outside.
Although Juan Sartori’s role still remains unclear, KLD is obviously comfortable with him and for me, that is good enough - we have a decent idea of what we are getting, and it is a whole lot more palatable than what we could have ended up with.
In recent months we’ve seen some individuals and organisations using the situation at our club to try and boost their own profile, whilst the continuing presence of Charlie Methven and Stewart Donald often left supporters feeling very uneasy.
They were all unwanted distractions that were bubbling away in the background, and could well have undermined the recent feelgood factor had they continued. To see those influences diminishing is a huge plus, and it leaves us able to go forwards. Roll on 2022-23!
Kelvin Beattie says...
I was absolutely delighted when I heard yesterday morning’s ownership news.
With Kyril Louis-Dreyfus in a 51% shareholding position, and Juan Sartori as his close ally with 30%, I hope we can now let them get on with the stewardship of the club.
Some sort of early tangible evidence that the ‘new’ ownership situation is getting the business done would be welcome… the obvious being a signing or three!
With a stable boardroom and ownership, we can hopefully move forward with confidence to build a team and club that reflects the very best of our area and culture - a club that has a pathway for young players, a club that welcomes all, whatever their colour, creed, ability, gender or sexual identity, a club that espouses the benefits of hard graft, generosity, kindness, humour, and outrageous skill & ability.
Let's get on with it - we all have a part to play!
Kev Campbell says...
On the one hand, it will be a great joy and relief to never have to see Charlie Methven’s salmon pants anywhere near our club again. He’d been a toxin ever since he arrived, illustrated by his attempted parting gift of TFT. Good riddance.
On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see that Kyril Louis-Dreyfus now has a majority shareholding at 51% and not just a controlling interest in the club. Juan Sartori’s increased shareholding to 30% shows his continued support and loyalty to KLD in the interest of buying Methven out of the entirety of his stake. I think JS adds value to the club with his international connections and affiliation with other clubs worldwide that can benefit the club’s recruitment long-term. Let’s also remember it was his connection to the Louis-Dreyfus family that brought KLD to the club in the first place.
I also don’t mind Stewart Donald continuing with his now 19% shareholdings. If I understand the statement correctly, he’ll be required to contribute that percentage towards club expenditures and will have no say at all in club activities.
There is one statement worth noting from KLD: that there will be no “third-party sales” of any further shares. This indicates to me that, if Donald is bought out, it will be done by KLD (taking his holdings to 70%), Sartori (making he and KLD 51/49 partners), or somehow split between the two. Any of these scenarios, I’d be just fine with.
In any case, I think the news is nothing short of magnificent. KLD is THE owner of the club. The ownership situation is far more clear. And maybe we can family move past this.