Kyril Louis-Dreyfus reveals why he believes Sunderland can get promoted this season
Louis-Dreyfus spoke to supporters on Tuesday evening and promised to implement a long-term vision at odds with the ‘cost cutting’ and ‘asset stripping’ that he says has taken place in recent years.
The new chairman’s vision began with the appointments of Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman and Chief Operating Officer Steve Davison even before his takeover had been approved, and a raft of key appointments have followed.
The 2-0 win over Fleetwood Town on Tuesday left the Black Cats fifth in the table and with their form improving considerably under Lee Johnson.
Louis-Dreyfus is adamant that promotion this time around is a realistic ambition, but says the club will stick to their process regardless.
“I think it's very important in football not to panic and for example a key moment will be this season,” Louis-Dreyfus said.
"I truly believe we can get promoted this season because we have a very strong squad, a good manager and the league is still open to play.
"However, we need to follow our long-term plan. We can't panic if we fall short this year.
"We believe the club needs to be rebuilt from the foundation and it starts with the appointments of Kristjaan [Speakman], Steve [Davison] and Lee [Johnson]. There will be multiple appointments following in the next weeks. We've had the academy leadership team announced this week and we slowly start to rebuild.”
Louis-Dreyfus also said that the passion of the Sunderland support was the key reason why he opted to take over on Wearside.
A number of clubs are on the market as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the board, and Sunderland’s chairman said that the next few months will be ‘challenging’ for the club.
However, he says the ownership will ‘invest’ to protect that the club and says he believes the Black Cats will be stronger over time.
“There definitely were [a lot of clybs on the market],” Louis-Dreyfus said.
"A lot of clubs are struggling at the moment and this pandemic has been the biggest shock for football clubs most probably in the last few years or even longer.
"It's a tough time for football clubs and a lot of them are on sale. Sunderland has always been special because I've always admired this club for the passion the supporters have for this club, the great history it has got, the stadium is known all over the world and is very impressive, and I believe there is a big underdeveloped potential in this club which I hope to achieve.
"However, I would like to say that it is a tough climate that we're in right now. The next months will be challenging and there are pandemic-related losses that will require investment from the ownership.
"But we're confident that over time we will get out of this stronger and bring success.”
Louis-Dreyfus has also pledged a ‘structured engagement’ programme with supporters, to communicate ‘what we’re trying to do and where we’re trying to go’.