Sunderland confirm Chris Coleman as new boss
No surprise to see that Chris Coleman has been confirmed as the new Sunderland manager. The 47-year-old has signed a two-and-a-half year deal. He replaces Simon Grayson’s and it is on paper a good appointment.
The former Welsh boss is highly regarded and despite concerted attempts by the FAW to extend his current deal Coleman has decided the time is right to return to club management and has agreed to take the plunge with Sunderland.
In an official statement the club announced:“Sunderland AFC are delighted to announce Chris Coleman as the club’s new manager,”
. “The Welshman has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at the Stadium of Light and arrives on the back of six memorable years as Wales boss, during which time he managed his country into the top 10 of FIFA’s world rankings and an incredible run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.
“The 47-year-old was highly sought-after but chose Sunderland as the fifth club of his managerial career, following spells with Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry and AEL.”
Michael O’Neill, the Northern Ireland manager, Paul Heckingbottom, who is in charge at Barnsley, and Ally McCoist were among the other candidates considered for the Sunderland post but Coleman emerged as the clear frontrunner. O’Neill was given permission on Friday to speak to the Scottish FA over their current managerial vacancy.
Coleman’s decision to take over at the Stadium of Light would appear to be something of a gamble on his part given Sunderland’s problems over the past few seasons but it is a club with huge potential and Coleman has the personality to make an instant impact. Coleman’s decision to leave international football will come as a massive disappointment to the Wales players, who made their feelings known as to how desperate they were for him to continue in the job after his spectacular success.
Appointed as the late Gary Speed’s successor in January 2012, Coleman will go down as the most successful manager in his country’s history after leading Wales to the European Championship semi-finals last year.
The FAW chief executive, Jonathan Ford, said: “The FAW and Wales as a nation will be eternally grateful for the job he has done over the last six years as national team manager, from travelling the length and breadth of Wales outside of the media spotlight to talk to players and supporters, to guiding us to the semi-finals of the European Championships.
“We wish Chris the very best of luck for the future as he returns to club management, a desire for which he has always been honest and open about.”