Dean Ashton has revealed concerns about the motivation of new Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and claimed he hopes the takeover isn’t “more false hope for the supporters”.
It was announced on Thursday that the 23-year-old Frenchman had completed his takeover of the North East club, with Stewart Donald’s era now over.
Reports have indicated that Louis-Dreyfus has already played a part in key decision-making, having influenced the appointments of manager Lee Johnson and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.
Unsurprisingly, the arrival of the new Black Cats owner, who is worth in the region of £2 billion, has drawn an excited response from supporters but Ashton has revealed his concerns over the arrival of the 23-year-old.
— Quest (@QuestTV) February 20, 2021
Speaking on EFL on Quest, the former West Ham United striker said: “The only issue I would have is. There won’t be another team at this level of English football that have the global appeal that Sunderland will have because of the documentary that they did. That will have drawn in a lot of people from around the world.
“I hope it’s not just because of that. This is a serious football club with massive ambitions. He’s come out and said that he wants to modernise the structure of the football club and that he wants to get rid of the wasted money that’s going out of the club.
“I hope it’s not more false hope for the supporters because as you saw from the documentary, it weighs heavy on those fans and they just want to see success.
“But he’s coming in at a great time. The team are on the up and hopefully have got a great chance of getting promoted.”
Sunderland will have to wait until the summer to make use of their new-found financial clout in the transfer market but will be hoping they’re preparing for life back in the Championship after three seasons away.
The Black Cats beat Burton Albion 3-0 yesterday to move back into the play-off places.
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This concern will likely be shared by many Sunderland fans, who need stability from their new owner rather than flashy statements or big-money signings.
The Netflix docu-series will no doubt have raised the club’s profile on the world stage but you’d hope Louis-Dreyfus’ motivation for taking charge is still the right one.
The Black Cats are a big club but returning to their previous standing in English football, whether that be as an established Championship side or reaching the Premier League, is unlikely to come easily so you’d hope the Frenchman is ready to deal with the downs as well as the ups.