EFL confirms takeover of Sunderland by 23-year-old Frenchman Louis-Dreyfus

  • Louis-Dreyfus is the son of the late Marseille owner Robert
  • New owner says he is proud but recognises responsibility

Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has become the youngest chairman in English football after his protracted takeover of Sunderland was finally approved by the English Football League on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Frenchman is the son of the late billionaire Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the former Marseille owner, and he can look forward to a trip the directors’ box at Wembley next month when Sunderland face Tranmere Rovers in the final of the Papa John’s Trophy.

Lee Johnson’s side are seventh in League One, one point below the play-off zone, and their new owner is targeting an eventual return to the Premier League. “I am proud to become a custodian of this esteemed institution but I also recognise the significant responsibility that comes with it,” said Louis-Dreyfus.

“I am confident that together we can weather the present storm and put solid foundations in place to bring sustainable and long-term success to the club.” Sunderland’s former owner, Stewart Donald, will retain a minority shareholding as will the directors Charlie Methven and the Uruguayan businessman Juan Sartori. Donald said the takeover means Sunderland are now debt free.

“Kryil’s commitment, acumen and integrity convinced us to accept his proposal,” said Donald. “His vision and desire to bring success to Sunderland was obvious from the outset and his bid is the one that we feel gives the club the best chance of long-term success and sustainability.” Louis-Dreyfus and Donald agreed the buyout in December but it has taken longer than expected for the EFL to approve the deal.

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Louise Taylor

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