So Steve Bruce has gone, fired today as the inevitable casualty of his team’s abject failure to get results to match Sunderland AFC’s spending and the supporters’ reasonable expectations. It is not a great day for SAFC, which remains for now in a mess. Salut! Sunderland finally and reluctantly came off the fence after the Wigan debacle and acknowledged the need for change. We had promised to reserve judgement until the end of November; our deadline, the last of the month’s games, passed without trace or hope of improvement.
Now Ellis Short has taken the required action. Or part of it. We wanted the club to have a replacement ready, not run the risk of a leaderless chasm. That was a tall order and no one appears to be lined up to take charge with immediate effect, unless Short has a trick up his sleeve and it is merely a case of dotting Is and crossing Ts. We’ll be watching and praying …
Sunderland are no longer managed by Steve Bruce.
There was no point in repeating the rumours, accurate and well-sourced though they appeared to be. But it is now official, and needs to be recorded.
Ellis Short, owner and chairman of Sunderland AFC, is quoted by the club site as saying this:
“This has been a difficult time for everyone at Sunderland and is not a situation that any of us envisaged or expected to be in. It is my job as chairman to act in the best interests of our football club at all times and I can assure everyone that this is not a decision that I have taken lightly. Sadly results this season have simply not been good enough and I feel the time is right to make a change.
Steve has acted with honesty and integrity throughout, which is testament to the character and commitment he has shown during his time at Sunderland. I would like to personally place on record my thanks to him for his significant contribution to our football club over the past two and a half years and everyone here at Sunderland naturally wishes him the very best for the future.
I would also like to thank our fans, who have endured a trying start to the season. Their support continues to be the driving force behind our club and is vital as we now look to the future.”
Bruce’s assistant Eric Black has been handed caretaker duties until a new appointment is made. That appointment needs to be an impressive one, and it ought to be swift. Ellis Short has made the right decision in bringing Bruce’s rocky reign to an end; he may have plenty of work left to do.