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Opinion: Ownership clarity is the foundation for Sunderland success

The decision by Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to acquire a controlling stake in the club can be viewed in many ways but all have to be seen as positive for Sunderland, its players, and its fans.

Kyril-ed to bits. Share deal clarifies who runs the club
| Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

After weeks of concern as to how and when Stuart Donald and Charlie Methven would sell their shares the announcement by KLD that he has increased his shareholding in the club to 51% has been greeted with relief.

Coupled with a pledge that any third-party involvement is currently off the table, it will enable the pre-season to be all about getting things right in terms of the squad and the performances on the pitch.

What the latest news does highlight is that KLD is still determined to take the football club forward and to invest more to acquire overall control is a big statement of intent. We cannot believe that this decision has simply been taken to maintain the status quo.

Sunderland are on the up, and the owner wants to ensure that we keep the momentum.

For Alex Neil and his backroom team, it is also I am sure it is welcome news. With an end to the boardroom wrangling, he has a clear chain of command which stops at KLD who has the final and now unequivocal say in what happens with the club.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Juan Satori has increased his shareholding to 30%, and we now support a club where both its major shareholders are extremely wealthy individuals. While the club has long said it wants to operate sustainably the hope has to be that the duo will now be loosening the purse strings to let Neil build his squad in what is the most competitive of divisions.

I am sure that the stability this announcement provides will also increase the attraction of the club in the eyes of potential signings. The thought of playing in front of 30,000 plus home crowds is certainly going to be a huge attraction as is the chance to be coached by Neil. But players will also want to walk into a club where there is stability both in the coaching staff but also the club ownership. New owners mean change.

It is already becoming clear that the transfer window will be a tough one to navigate. If the media is to be believed, the club are looking to attract young players such as Clarke and Broadhead, bursting with skill and potential, along with specific players that Neil looks to have favoured in the past.

We still have the question mark over Ross Stewart’s future but it is telling on the day the ownership news was announced Lynden Gooch committed his future to the club.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Everything flows from the ownership of the club.

Only this week Chris Coleman was in the media to say that he never saw Ellis Short in the flesh, let alone met him, and was told that the owner wasn’t interested in spending money in the January transfer window to support the manager’s efforts to fight off relegation.

We are now a world away from the insipid ownership we faced last time we were in the Championship. There is so much about this news to be positive about.


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