Sunsport’s David Coverdale says the Scot lost the dressing-room and fans but successor will be curbed by limited budget
DAVID MOYES’ Sunderland resignation should serve as a warning to any boss who wants to replace him.
Yes, the Scot was battered and bruised after a disastrous season, in which he lost both the dressing room and supporters towards the end.
But Moyes also knew that winning promotion back to the Premier League looked almost impossible given the state of Sunderland’s finances.
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So any manager would be advised to think twice before they agreed to stepping into the Stadium of Light hotseat.
In fact, they should probably run a mile.
From the outside, the job may look an attractive one, given Sunderland’s impressive stadium, facilities and fanbase.
And the opportunity to rebuild a club of its size, get them back into the top flight and be a hero to fans would no doubt tempt many an ambitious boss.
Yet away from the shiny surface, one look under the car bonnet and you would soon see why Moyes has walked away from this clapped-out club.
As one source said: “The first question any manager worth their salt would ask is, ‘What is my budget?’ And we wouldn’t know what to say.”
Accounts for the year up to July 2016 show that Sunderland have a gross debt of £137million – and that is set to spiral further following relegation.
Those same figures revealed the Black Cats’ wage bill was at a sky-high £84m, and the club has made a loss for ten straight seasons.
Factor in the fact that owner Ellis Short is looking to sell, and it all paints a grim picture for any prospective new manager.
Asked back in December if he would have accepted the job had he known the true financial outlook, Moyes confessed: “I would have had to have thought a lot more about it.”
Immediately, then, Sunderland can rule out attracting any of the top bosses, however much their fans might want one.
They will also struggle to poach anyone who is already at a club, given they would have to fork out compensation.
And someone like Ryan Giggs, who is looking for his first top job, would almost certainly give the Black Cats a wide berth knowing he would be on a hiding to nothing.
It is no wonder, then, that chief executive Martin Bain is using the rest of this week to take stock before he begins the thankless task of appointing Sunderland’s seventh manager in four years.
The Scot will want someone who has experience of working on a shoestring budget, ideally knows the Championship, has a strong personality and has the hunger to succeed.
Just don’t expect candidates to banging down his door.