Although new Sunderland owner, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, can’t yet splash the cash on transfers to help on the field progress, he’s doing as much as he can off the field. In the last few days, the club have announced an improved streaming service, Chris Waters (the club’s Supporter’s Liaison Officer) has finally been taken off furlough and a £500,000 pitch lighting system is set to be installed.
The streaming service improvements may seem trivial to some, but watching League One games broadcast from an empty stadium with one fixed camera has been dire for fans, especially with the product served up under Phil Parkinson. "Sunderland AFC’s live matchday broadcast has been revamped ahead of the final run-in. Throughout the remainder of the 2020-21 season, supporters will be able to enjoy multi-camera coverage of all home fixtures to ensure they are closer to the action than ever before. The enhanced production will start on Tuesday evening when the Lads host Fleetwood Town at the Stadium of Light, with Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’ first interview airing during the half-time show.”
SLO, Chris Waters tweeted: “Supporter Engagement Update. Please note following the recent takeover, I am pleased to announce I will be returning to work full time. I will be available for all supporters to liaise with on a daily basis from Monday 22nd February.”
In terms of pitch improvements, the Daily Mail reported: “He plans to install the same HT Pro hybrid turf system as at Tottenham’s impressive home. The surface will have an integrated pitch-grow lighting system, with lights suspended above the pitch from rails at either end, so it never comes into direct contact with the grass.”
The arrival of KLD has also created a positive buzz amongst the players and the new owner met the playing squad last week. Dion Sanderson explained: “There's always things going on and the players are interested in what's going on around the club. We had the meeting about it and all the players are delighted. It's change, we adapt to it and it's good for the club. We had a little meeting with KLD and he spoke to us. We had a good chat, all the boys, and he's shown us a good understanding of what he wants and what he wants from us.”
On the last seven days in general Sanderson added: "It's been brilliant. I'm delighted for the boys winning that semi-final and then to go on and get the three points at Burton, I couldn't be any happier. These are the games we do sometimes lose points on, and I think everyone has that understanding that we can't lose games. We've got to respect the opposition, but it's important that we got the three points. We had players playing in different positions, positions they weren't used to, and I think they all did well. Credit to everyone, the staff and the players for that. I'm happy that I'm getting playing time, but I'm just delighted for the boys. Hopefully this is the start of a good run of wins and I couldn't be more chuffed. We'll be in Monday and then our focus is on Tuesday,” added the defender. Nothing will change, the boys' mindset won't change, we still need to get the three points and a clean sheet and hopefully we can do that again on Tuesday.”