KLD has given his first big interview since taking over our club. He spoke with maturity and great articulation for someone not speaking in their first language. Here’s the best bits…
LONG TIME COMING
"I'm very happy to be here, very proud and well, however I'm fully aware of the huge responsibility that I have right now. I've grown up as the son of a football club owner so I've always been close to the sport. I've a lot of great memories and it's my passion that I truly have. The takeover has taken much longer that we all expected, which is why I want to say I'm very thankful to all the supporter and staff for the patience they have shown. throughout these last weeks and months.”
"I've obviously had a lot of thoughts going forward in these last five months - what we want to achieve and how we are going to get sustainability and success - and I think it all comes down to having a long-term vision which we have now begun with the appointments of Kristjaan Speakman, Steve Davison and Lee Johnson, which I believe will play a key role in us moving forward. It's a fresh start for the club, it's been many years now that the club has had no real long-term vision and also cost-cutting at its forefront which led to asset stripping in almost all departments of the club, which require rebuilding from the start.”
LONG TERM PLAN
"It's going to be a long-term plan but I'm the happy the fans and club can take this journey together which hopefully will bring better times for the club. We need to have a structured engagement programme with the supporters to communicate what we're trying to do and where we're trying to go, which is something we'll implement now."
"There definitely was. A lot of clubs are struggling at the moment. This pandemic has been the biggest shock to football in the last 50 years, if not longer. It's a tough time for football clubs and a lot are on sale. Sunderland have always been special to me because I've always admired the passion the supporters have for the club, the great history its got, the stadium is known all over the world, so I believe there is a big under-developed potential that I hope to achieve.”
"However, I would like to say that it is a tough climate we're in now, the next months will be challenging and there are pandemic-related losses which will require investment from the ownership, but we're confident over time we will get out of this stronger and we will get success. It's very important in football not to panic. For example a key moment will be this season. I truly believe we can get promoted this season because we have a very strong squad, a good manager and the league is still open. However, we need to follow our long-term plan. We cannot panic in case we fall short this year. We believe the club needs to be rebuilt from its foundation and it starts with the appointments of Kristjaan, Steve and Lee. There will be multiple appointments following - we've obviously had the Academy leadership team this week - and we will slowly start to rebuild."
WANTS THE FANS BACK
"It's an awkward situation to be in the stadium and hear the players on the pitch. We obviously miss the fans and I'm the first to hope they will come back quickly, and we will welcome them to the Stadium of Light. It's a tough time for the whole community, as we know. I believe the post-pandemic will require the club, the community and potentially the Foundation of Light to work together to rebuild the city and to maybe even better times than before."