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Swiss billionaire son explains why he bought Sunderland of all places
New hope after dark years for Sunderland AFC: The Swiss billionaire son Kyril Louis-Dreyfus wants to lead the traditional English club, which has fallen into the third division, back into the Premier League.
It was probably the biggest Christmas present for the afflicted fans of Sunderland AFC. The deeply fallen English traditional club receives a new, rather wealthy owner. The Swiss billionaire son Kyril Louis-Dreyfus takes over the club from the current owner Stewart Donald. If the English Football League approves the deal, the 22-year-old will become the new CEO of the current table eleventh of the third-rate League One in mid-January.
Louis-Dreyfus is the youngest son of Robert Louis-Dreyfus, the ex-Adidas boss who died in 2009 and the former owner of Olympique Marseille and Standard Lüttich. His mysterious million-dollar loan to Franz Beckenbauer also started the summer fairytale scandal surrounding the 2006 World Cup in 2015. Kyril’s mother Margarita, who is currently in a relationship with the former Swiss National Bank boss Philipp Hildebrand, is, according to Forbes, the second richest Swiss woman with a fortune of 7.1 billion dollars and led the French first division club Olympique Marseille from 2009 until it was sold in 2016.
So now the son comes on the scene. «I can’t wait to get started soon and I believe we can bring Sunderland AFC back to the top of English football. We have a long-term strategy that combines the proud traditions of Sunderland with a modern structure and approach. ” His simple plan: “We want to create a team that is fun to watch. The fans should love the team again. “
The most famous son in town:
The billionaire offspring actually had no plans to get involved in a football club. After the sale of Olympique Marseille, I was convinced that we wouldn’t do anything more in football, ”Louis-Dreyfus told the French sports newspaper“ L’Equipe ”on Sunday. Because football is “a lazy business”, according to the new Sunderland owner, who is said to have an estimated private fortune of 2.2 billion Swiss francs.
Louis-Dreyfus explained why he joined the Black Cats anyway: “Sunderland is a special project because there is still a lot of potential here. In Marseille, for example, we didn’t own the stadium, which caused us a lot of problems. ” Sunderland, on the other hand, has its own stadium with the seventh highest capacity in the country.
In addition, the fan base was central to the considerations before the takeover. «The passion is reminiscent of Marseille. Before the corona pandemic, Sunderland had a higher average attendance in the third division than half of the Premier League teams. You can’t buy something like that! In cities like Zurich or Monaco, nobody is interested in football, which limits development opportunities. “
Not only in the northern English port city, but far beyond the country’s borders, Sunderland has been known to every football fan since 2018 at the latest. The well-worth seeing Netflix series “Sunderland ‘Til I Die” made sure of that.
The makers had accompanied the then second division team through the 2017/2018 season, at the end of which should be the return to the Premier League. Instead, relegation followed at the end of the season as bottom of the table. In the second season, the audience was very close when the “Blackcats” missed the rise by a hair.
With Louis-Dreyfus at the helm of the club, happy endings will soon flicker across the TV screen. Former owner Stewart Donald, who took over the club from Ellis Short in April 2018, is confident that things will soon be on the up again: “I’ve been looking for the right person to take Sunderland forward for a long time. During the year there were many people who wanted to take over and many who offered more. “
But it was only at Louis-Dreyfus that Donald got the right feeling: “From the first meeting I was very impressed by Kyril, his family and his advisors. From the knowledge and understanding that they have acquired as owners of large football clubs in Belgium and France. I believe that this experience, together with a good strategy, will bring the club forward again. I look forward to following this progress from afar. “
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