Beyond belief: the football club owner who has never spoken to his manager

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

Welcome to the strange world of Ellis Short, reluctant and reclusive football boss. In the past, Salut! Sunderland may have been too kind to the SAFC owner, accepting that he had put lots of his own money into the club only to be let down in horrific fashion by managers, executives and players.

But now we learn from the Sunderland Echo that Chris Coleman has never spoken to Short.

Asked at his pre-Boro press conferencece about speculation on a possible sale, and Short’s reported asking price (take your pick: £50m or maybe nowt provided the buyer takes on the debts), Coleman said:

Again I have never spoke with the chairman. I have been here three months. I have never had a conversation with the chairman. I have no idea about the price. I have no idea who, if there is someone, I have seen reports that there is people interested but I can’t say to you it is close or it is this or that, I have never spoke to the chairman.

The grammar may leave a little to be desired. The message couldn’t be clearer. Our club is run in an unimaginably amateurish way, as a younger supporter quickly pointed out.

Here, with my reply, is what Olivia Hutchison – well enough known to Salut! Sunderland readers – had to say, followed by my reply …



Perhaps basket case is too mild a description of Sunderland AFC after all.

1 thought on “Beyond belief: the football club owner who has never spoken to his manager”

  1. While M Salut and others have perhaps been kind to our owner in the past I have been bleating on for years about how he was not the saviour that some thought he was. I have written articles and posted critical comments for years now and for quite a while got plenty of thumbs down.

    He was, I was reminded, investing his own money and saying how much he loved the club. He sported a FTM badge that he bought from the Love Supreme shop and he was by all accounts “a nice guy”.

    He is showing his true colours now. The truth is he has never cared about Sunderland AFC as a club or understood just how much of an important part of the community it is. He destroyed that link when he marginalised Niall Quinn and to a lesser extent Kevin Ball, two men who also came to the area and the club and fell in love with it. Now Short is bored he is just wiping his hands of it. He has so much wealth that even the massive debt the club is carrying is peanuts to him.

    American sports teams are “franchises”. The LA Rams become the St Louis Rams and the St Louis Cardinals become the Arizona Cardinals, then the St Louis Rams go back to Los Angeles, while meantime the Oakland Raiders move to L.A. and back again. OK not all US sports teams are like that – The Packers, the Bears and the Steelers are three with long term associations to a city and a set of passionate fans but I can’t believe that foreign billionaires buying into English football will ever feel the same passion that the true supporter feels.

    I have fallen out of love with top flight football and all that surrounds it. For a short time I was deceived by the great escape engineered by Big Sam, but even before the pre-season friendly at Hartlepool I realised I had been conned.

    People are comparing us with Leeds and how they have fallen but I fear our descent will be more like that of Coventry City, Portsmouth, Blackpool and the original Accrington Stanley.

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