Sunderland have announced they have reached a takeover agreement with a consortium led by 22-year-old Kyril Louis-Dreyfus.
The deal is subject to clearance by the EFL but, if approved, Louis-Dreyfus will take up his post as the club’s new chairman early in the new year.
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.”
The youngster is the son of late businessman Robert Louis-Dreyfus, a former majority shareholder at Marseille, and the person largely credited with the French club’s revival to the top of European football.
The family also held a stake in Belgian side Standard Liege.
Kyril added: “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.”
Current chairman Stewart Donald told the official Sunderland website: “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.”
Sunderland are currently 11th in League One after a tumultuous period behind the scenes as well as their gradual drop through the divisions, documented by Netflix series ‘Sunderland Till I Die’.
Donald added: “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.”