KYRIL Louis-Dreyfus believes Sunderland have "one of the most progressive and innovative thinkers in sports business" after David Bruce was announced as the club's chief business officer.

Bruce will effectively take over from current chief operating officer Steve Davison when he departs this summer.

Bruce has impressed at the Stadium of Light since joining as chief brand and commercial officer last summer. Wearside-born, he left the North East for the United States, where he made a name for himself in the MLS, but returned to his home city to take a job with Sunderland last July.

“It is an enormous privilege to be stepping into this role," he said.

"Sunderland is my team, and I am honoured to be given the opportunity to be part of a leadership team that I hope will achieve great things on and off the field.

"Not only is the city changing dramatically, but the football club that reflects it and its people are also embarking on a period of transformation and growth.

"In Sunderland, there is an obsession that can’t be replicated – this is a unique and special club. I’m excited to build on the strong foundations established by our ownership group throughout the past three years and shape a club that that we can all be proud of.”


Owner Louis-Dreyfus said: "David is one of the most progressive and innovative thinkers in sports business and we are delighted with the impact he has made since his arrival nine months ago.

"He has built a reputation around fan centric thinking and engagement that is centred around creating memorable experiences for fans, and his time at MLS was a period of unprecedented growth.

"David’s appetite for this football club and love of the area make him a perfect candidate to lead our business and I look forward to supporting him in his new role.”

Sunderland say Bruce's appointment is "part of a wider restructuring within the business operation".

During his time in the States, Bruce spent 11 years working for the MLS, working his way up to become senior vice president of brand and integrated marketing and chief marketing officer.

The Northumbria University graduate was part of the leadership team that introduced 13 new clubs to the league, created a new global broadcast relationship with Apple TV and helped launch Lionel Messi’s arrival in the US.