As Salut! Sunderland winds down, Pete Sixsmith comes up with an idea to keep us occupied in our remaining weeks. He will describe each of the 13 managers seen at Sunderland since this site was created at the beginning of 2007.
That means he starts by remembering the short, explosive reign of Roy Keane. It may be recalled that when Keano took over at a salary of £1m-a-year shortly after a calamitous start to the 2006-2007 season, he responded to a warts-and-all, player-by-player appraisal of the squad he was inheriting by saying: ‘Good grief (or similar)? I should have asked for £2m.’ …
Yet for a time, he made it work, a sensational bottom-to-top romp to promotion as champions followed by a hard-fought survival year back in the Premier League. Then it went wrong as Sixer explains …
Monsieur Salut couldn’t be in Sunderland today but pieces together the bits he has gleaned about the confirmed purchase of SAFC …
Stewart Donald confirmed today that his takeover of Sunderland AFC from Ellis Short had been completed. The club is now debt-free after Short accepted a £40m purchase price to be paid over two years.
Donald told a news conference at the Stadium of Light that the takeover was concluded on Sunday night after being approved by the EFL on Friday.
He said it was his hope to have a new manager appointed in a week or less to give him as much of the summer as possible for rebuilding.
— Jeff Brown (@JeffAB61) May 21, 2018
Malcolm Dawson, deputy editor, writes: last week I composed my contribution to Salut! Sunderland‘s end of season review series – see all items so far at this link – in response to Monsieur Salut’s urgings and thought back to my feelings at the end of term when Big Sam had engineered yet another Great Escape.
In 2016 I referenced Ian Dury’s hit Reasons to Be Cheerful Part 3 to follow on from the previous year when I had used the title of the Zoe record Sunshine on a Rainy Day which in turn had followed that of Irving Berlin’s Blue Skies. I chose those songs because my articles all spoke with unjustifiable optimism, despite my constant disappointments following Sunderland AFC. There was always something to give me a little bit of hope.
But time spent recovering from surgery meant that I missed a couple of games in the Moyes reign and caused me to rethink whether or not I needed my fix of footballing disappointment. With Ellis Short in control of the club I could only see it going one way and made up my mind that I would not renew my season card as long as he was the owner. That in turn led to what follows – the bulk of which was written before last weekend’s announcements. For anyone who hasn’t spotted this year’s reference let me refer you to The Smiths and What Difference Does It Make?
Monsieur Salut writes: read on to learn what little we know about the welcome departure of E Short esquire as owner of SAFC. And here is the thoroughly inadequate SAFC statement on Chris Coleman’s sacking:
Sunderland AFC announces that manager Chris Coleman and his assistant Kit Symons have been released from their contracts. The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Chris and Kit for their tireless efforts in what has been a hugely disappointing season for everyone involved with the club. The club is unable to make further comment at this time.
It would be an exaggeration to suggest Martin Bain as a name to inspire great affection and confidence among the fans. He may merely be doing Ellis Short’s bidding in energetically cutting costs to please the owner. But the cost to the club of that exercise has become painfully clear and Bain must realise he bears a sizeable share of responsibility for our shocking position.
Salut! Sunderland would be quite pleased to see the back of him, and suspects most supporters feel likewise. But in the interests of fairness, and in line with our desire to report all sides on major issues affecting the club, here is a piece quoting his remarks to local media. The comments – drawn from interviews with the Sunderland Echo/Shields Gazette, Newcastle Evening Chronicle and the BBC (*see footnote for links), seemed designed as much to send upbeat messages to potential buyer as to appease supporters, though he says he ‘totally understands’ their anger, anguish and frustration ….
It bears the hallmarks of a statement dictated by Martin Bain (CEO) and tidied up in the press office. It tells us what we know and offers the right buzz words and phrases: demoralising season, devastated, humbling support, deep-rooted passion, rise again and so on.
It even includes a “sorry”. Nay, “truly sorry”. But did Ellis Short have the least input? Was the sorry his? Remember, this is a man who may have tried to do his best for our club but ended up finger-pointing at the media, a classic cause-and-effect scenario since he freely admits he won’t even talk to reporters.
In the words of Oliver Cromwell, Ellis, “depart I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”
Malcolm Dawson writes…….Sunderland spurned two good opportunities to improve their ever decreasing chances of survival last night. The first when …
UPDATE: to no great surprise, the early voting has “unbounded joy” way out in front, with “joy” and cautious “hope” following on. But Sixer and James Hunter remain unconvinced the story even has legs …
The Chronicle’s James Hunter, who writes well on SAFC, advises us to to treat the reports with caution. Then along comes the BBC with its own version, namely that our absentee owner Ellis Short has spoken to (or, as the Beeb inelegantly puts it, “spoken with”) Niall Quinn about a possible consortium takeover.
Salut! Sunderland has no inside information. But it sincerely hopes – or, since I can speak only for myself, Monsieur Salut hopes – it is true.
Monsieur Salut is left at a loose end, feeling a little redundant with no need to post a Guess the Score or the Derby County “Who are You?” that is already tucked away in the safe …
It comes as something of a relief to have no forthcoming weekend match to fret about.
In truth, the international break could not have come too soon. Some of us would almost like it to continue until May when, in silent shame, we accept our fate and prepare for life in the next division down, knowing there will be no Eric or Marco or Benno to get us straight back up again.
Let it be made clear that grandparents cannot be held responsible for what happens, provided lawful, between their sons and daughters and their grandchildren.
So Barry Emmerson must not feel personally culpable because his son, Martin, took 10-year-old Abigail, known to Salut! Sunderland readers, to her first Sunderland game after a recent dip in enthusiasm. The game Abigail chose was Villa at home … she describes the experience here while walking home with her dad after the score went to 0-3. And now Barry, responding to Pete Sixsmith’s eloquent portrayal of death barely warmed up, tells of the anguish it left him feeling