“Disgusted and hurt”: Club’s chairman shares emotional apology over Newcastle debacle …

Sunderland Chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, has issued a sincere apology to the club’s supporters following a controversial Newcastle-themed rebranding of a bar at the Stadium of Light. The Black Cats are set to face their Tyne-Wear rivals in the upcoming FA Cup third-round clash, marking the first meeting between the two clubs since 2016. The tensions between the teams have escalated with Newcastle bringing a substantial away contingent of up to 700 supporters, given access to the Black Cats bar as part of a premium hospitality package.

Outrage among Sunderland fans erupted as leaked images showcased the bar adorned with black and white banners, replacing traditional slogans with Newcastle-centric ones. The alterations, including phrases like ‘keep the black and white flying’ and ‘Ho’way the Lads,’ prompted a wave of criticism from the fanbase. The incident led to the club’s chairman feeling “disgusted and hurt” and being compelled to issue a public apology.

Louis-Dreyfus took to Instagram to express remorse, stating, “I would like to apologize to everyone associated with Sunderland AFC for the events that have unfolded today.” He acknowledged the inappropriateness of the rebranding and assumed full responsibility for decisions made by the club’s employees. Louis-Dreyfus assured supporters of his commitment to implementing necessary changes and improvements, recognizing areas where the club needs to perform better.

Expressing personal disappointment, the chairman reflected on his interactions with fans over the past three years, highlighting his intention to act in the best interest of the club and its supporters. He regretted the letdown for the devoted fanbase, acknowledging them as the “greatest fans in the world” and thanking them for their trust in his leadership. Louis-Dreyfus pledged to repay this trust in the months and years to come, concluding with unequivocal support for the team in the upcoming derby.

Sunderland chairman issues emotional apology over Newcastle debacle - "Disgusted  and hurt" - Mirror Online

This apology follows a previous statement issued by Sunderland on Thursday evening, wherein the club acknowledged the rebrand as a “serious error in judgment.” The bar has since been reverted to its original state ahead of the highly anticipated Tyne-Wear Derby scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 12:45pm.

The incident has added fuel to the rivalry between the two teams, with Newcastle seeking their first Tyne-Wear derby victory since August 2011. Eddie Howe’s side enters the match amidst a challenging run of form, having lost seven out of their last eight matches in all competitions.

As both teams prepare for this crucial encounter, the focus will undoubtedly be on the pitch, but the off-field controversy has undeniably heightened the stakes and emotions surrounding the longstanding rivalry between Sunderland and Newcastle.


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