Sunderland confirms 23-year deal for buyout

Sunderland has confirmed that a deal has been reached between current owner Stewart Donald and potential new owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, with a takeover of the club slated for the new year.

The deal is still awaiting EFL approval before it can be officially announced – which is not expected until mid-January – however, having accepted an offer from Louis-Dreyfus in November, Donald has now confirmed that the deal was finalized after six hours. weeks of negotiations.

Sunderland should be taken over | GRAHAM STUART / Getty Images

After approval, the 23-year-old Frenchman will become the majority shareholder of the Wearside company, succeeding Donald who has been actively seeking a buyer for 12 months.

In a statement posted on the club’s official website, Sunderland confirmed that a deal had been made, Donald was quick to point out that the process had only taken a very long time as he was keen on the club being left behind in good hands.

“It’s no secret that I have been looking for the right person to move Sunderland forward for some time and over the last year many different people have wanted to take over,” Donald’s statement reads. .

“However, although it is common knowledge that some of these bidders offered me more money, I felt they were offering less to the club and the community.

“While during the first meetings with Kyril, his family and his advisers, I was very impressed with their knowledge and understanding, acquired over a long time as owners of major football clubs in Belgium and France.

“I believe this experience, combined with a good plan, will provide a platform for the club to progress and I look forward to seeing that progress from afar.”

Louis-Dreyfus took the opportunity to thank outgoing President Donald for his time in the negotiations, and presented his plans for the club in the future.

“First of all, I would like to thank Stewart Donald for his integrity and reasonableness over the past three months, which has enabled me to take a controlling stake in Sunderland AFC.

“I am fully aware of the efforts undertaken by the current owner and the Board of Directors to protect the viability of the club and respect the difficulty of this task, given Sunderland’s recent past and the current economic climate.

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Lee Johnson was recently announced as the new boss of Sunderland | Ian Horrocks / Getty Images

“Moving forward, we have a long-term strategy that integrates Sunderland’s proud traditions with a modern structure and approach. We will seek to be at the frontier of research and innovation in all areas of performance and place great emphasis on player development and team play style.

“We want to create a team that is fun to watch and that embodies the spirit and culture of those who attend, reconnecting the team with its fan base, whose support will be so essential to our success.

“If we all play our part, I firmly believe we can restore Sunderland AFC to the top of English football and I can’t wait to get started.”