Sunderland fans call for Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to attend key meeting over ownership concerns after share revelation
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has admitted to Sunderland supporters that he does not own a majority of the club’s shares.
Pressure has been building on the Black Cats’ Chairman to clarify the ownership structure at the club, having told a supporters’ collective meeting late last year that he was unable to do so due to confidentiality agreements.
A fractious two weeks at the club following Lee Johnson’s departure have seen automatic promotion prospects all but disappear, and have again brought the ownership structure into focus.
Ahead of another meeting with the Supporter Collective on Wednesday night, Louis-Dreyfus has sent a note to attendees.
While insisting he has a ‘controlling stake’ in the club, and that day-to-day management report directly into him (he continues to enjoy a healthy majority on the board), many fans are likely to feel this was not the new era that was promised.
Ahead of the meeting, the Red and White Army fan organisation (RAWA) have called on Louis-Dreyfus to attend tonight's meeting.
On Tuesday night, they tweeted: “It's a shame it's taken pressure from fans to get some transparency.
“RAWA will be taking supporters views to tomorrow's meeting with the club.
We have asked that KLD attends.”
Louis-Dreyfus confirmed that the breakdown of shares is as follows:
- Kyril Louis-Dreyfus 41 %
- Stewart Donald 34%
- Juan Sartori 20 %
- Charlie Methven 5 %
Louis-Dreyfus went on to say: “As previously stated, I have executive control of the running of the football club – something that was a fundamental requirement upon the purchase of my shares – and the executive management team inclusive of Steve Davison and Kristjaan Speakman report directly into me on a day-to-day basis.
“All major strategic decisions relating to the running of the club continue to be taken by the Board of Directors, compromising of myself, Maurice Louis-Dreyfus, David Jones, Steve Davison, Igor Levin, Patrick Treuer, Juan Sartori and Simon Vumbaca.
“Over the past 12 months, SAFC has required significant shareholder funding as part of our ongoing investment within the club and as a result of the lasting financial challenges from the pandemic.
“Substantial investment will continue to be required moving forward to ensure we fulfil our collective objectives and all shareholders remain wholly committed to honouring their respective financial obligations.”
Methven’s continued appearance at away games had continued to build controversy as the team’s form plummeted and while Louis-Dreyfus has never publicly claimed to own a majority of the shares, he now faces a significant challenge in rebuilding trust.