Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus spotted talking to New York Red Bulls boss Gerhard Struber

Sunderland’s 2-1 win at Birmingham means they head into the World Cup break 15th in the Championship table.

Tony Mowbray’s side now face three weeks without a fixture after goals from Ellis Simms and Amad at St Andew’s, with the Black Cats set to face Millwall on December 3.

With little to choose between several Championship clubs, Sunderland are just four points off a play-off spot but also only four points above the relegation zone.

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The win over Birmingham therefore felt significant, while Black Cats chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus was also in attendance at St Andew’s.

Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

Louis-Dreyfus was joined by guests in the directors box and was captured by the Sky Sports cameras.

It has since been pointed out on social media the Sunderland owner was sat next to former Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber, who is now the head coach at MLS club New York Red Bulls.

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It’s unclear why Struber was at the Birmingham match and isn’t an indication that Sunderland are looking to change their head coach.

Still, it does show Sunderland’s hierarchy have contacts from across the globe, which could prove useful when it comes to recruitment and growing other areas of the club.

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Mowbray has recently spoken about the overseas influence on Sunderland’s board, referring to Uruguayan co-owner Juan Sartori.

"It’s good that we are in the market of South America,” said Mowbray. “When you look at the make-up of our board we have South American influences.

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“Recruitment is quite interesting and exciting. I don’t think we are generally in the market for the stereotypical British-type player that might cost over the odds.”