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Sunderland takeover now agreed – Why no Newcastle United takeover?

4 months ago
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A Sunderland takeover has been agreed.

The Wearside club releasing an official statement (see below) on Christmas Eve, revealing that Stewart Donald has agreed to sell his controlling interest to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.

The transfer of power is subject to EFL approval but if that is forthcoming, the Sunderland takeover could be concluded early in the new year.

Whilst Sunderland supporters appear to have got their dream Christmas present, Newcastle fans will rightly ask when it will be their turn?

No doubt some will say, well a Newcastle United takeover would have been concluded earlier this year, if only the Premier League had waved it through.

That may well be true BUT at the same time, this doesn’t excuse why Mike Ashley has never sold the club despite supposedly it having been up for sale for over 13 years now.

If it has to be the Saudis paying well over the market price, that is a pretty narrow market you are insisting Newcastle United is sold to.

A bit like you saying you want to sell your £200,000 house BUT will only do so if somebody is willing to pay £250,000, some £50,000 more than it is worth.

If Mike Ashley really wants / wanted to sell Newcastle United, it would have been sold a long time ago.

Yes, you may say that the Sunderland takeover will be a lot cheaper than a Newcastle United takeover would be BUT everything has its price. If something is priced right, it will sell, even in these virus affected times. This Sunderland takeover is proof of that.

For anybody taking comfort in thinking the Mackems are in such a rubbish position at the moment in terms of their team and league position etc, things can change very quickly if a club starts doing things right under an ambitious owner and gets luck coming their way.

I have no idea what this imminent new owner of Sunderland is like but you only have to look at what happened when we got our Newcastle United takeover back in the early 90s, within a handful of years we came within a whisker of winning the Premier League.

More recently, Leicester City were in League One as recently as 2009 but by 2016 had won the Premier League, today on Christmas Eve they (Leicester) just opened a stunning new £95m training complex and the Foxes are second in the Premier League.

Whilst we as Newcastle fans are lectured by a long list of no-mark pundits as to why we should hope for anything else but fighting relegation each season.

It would be comforting to think that at least by Christmas 2021 we might have a Newcastle United takeover BUT after these 14 seasons of Mike Ashley, I’m not counting any black and white chickens.

Sunderland Official Statement:

‘Sunderland AFC can announce that an agreement has been reached for Kyril Louis-Dreyfus to acquire Stewart Donald’s controlling interest in the club. If approved by the EFL, the deal will see Louis-Dreyfus become chairman at the Wearside club early in the New Year.

Donald said: “It’s been no secret that I have been looking for some time to find the right person to take Sunderland forward and during the course of the last year there have been a lot of different people wanting to take over. However, even though it is a matter of public record that some of those bidders offered me more money, I felt that they offered less to the club and to the community. Whereas from the early meetings with Kyril, his family and advisers, I have been greatly impressed with their knowledge and understanding, learned over a long period as owners of major football clubs in Belgium and France. I believe that experience, combined with a good plan, will provide a platform for the club to progress and I look forward to watching that progress from afar.”

Louis-Dreyfus said: “First, I would like to thank Stewart Donald for his integrity and reasonableness over the last three months, which has led to me having the opportunity to take a controlling stake in Sunderland AFC. I am fully aware of the efforts undertaken by the current ownership and Board to protect the viability of the Club and respect the difficulty of this task, given Sunderland’s recent past and the current economic climate.

“We respectfully await the EFL’s approval for this transaction. Nonetheless it would be remiss of me at this stage not to emphasise what an enormous honour it would be for me to become involved with such a historic club, in a city renowned for its rich football culture going back to 1879. Many will be aware of my family connections to the industry and, in acquiring Sunderland AFC, I understand the responsibility that’s placed upon me as the custodian of the club’s future.

“Moving forward, we have a long-term strategy which 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 performance domains and place great emphasis on player development and the team’s style of play. We want to create a team that is entertaining to watch and that embodies the spirit and the culture of those who attend, thereby reconnecting the team with its fanbase, whose support will be so vital to our success.“In the midst of a global pandemic, we should all be aware of the difficult situation the club is currently in and the challenges we face in the months to come. However, through hard work, a diligent plan and togetherness from the Board of Directors, staff, players and supporters we can between us create a brighter future at the Stadium of Light. If we all play our parts, I firmly believe we can restore Sunderland AFC to the top tier of English football and I can’t wait to get started.”

Documentation relating to the deal has been lodged today with the EFL for their scrutiny, and the Club recognises that the EFL need to approve all aspects of the transaction and business plan going forward before any change of control. Given the time of year, that process is not expected to conclude until mid-January, until which point there will be no further public comment from Sunderland AFC or Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.’

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