Bookies suspended taking bets on who will be the next permanent Sunderland boss at around 7.45pm this evening as the Daily Mail revealed Chris Coleman will ditch Wales to take over at the Stadium of Light.
Odds on the 47-year-old had continued to tumble throughout the day as media outlets began to suggest Coleman was a near-certainty to succeed Simon Grayson at the Stadium of Light. Moments before the betting was suspended, the bookies had rated him as a 1/3 shot.
The news is a huge boost to fans on Wearside who have watched the 17-day hunt for a new boss with a growing sense of unease at what appeared to be a search making little headway.
Such has been the growing apathy in Sunderland as the city’s football club have been stuck fast at the bottom of the Championship, just a handful of local journalists bothered to turn up for caretaker boss Robbie Stockdale’s pre-match press conference this afternoon.
The Black Cats stand-in refused to be drawn on whether he would end up staying on until the end of the season presumably all too aware that Coleman was in talks with the Sunderland hierarchy.
47-year-old Coleman has been in charge of the Welsh national side since 2012 and has seen his stock rise after leading Wales to Euro 2016 and almost making qualification for the World Cup in Russia next year.
Coleman’s club career prior to his international stint encompassed four-and-a-half years at Fulham, eighteen months at Real Sociedad and a couple of seasons at Coventry before an ill-advised short spell at Greek side AEL.
A defender in his playing days, the Swansea-born coach turned out for his hometown club as well as Crystal Palace and Fulham and made nearly 500 appearances all told before being forced to retire after a car crash in 2001.
Reports this evening claim Coleman resigned from his position as Wales boss after failing to strike a deal to stay on and attempt qualification for Euro 2020.
The Welshman takes on a huge challenge at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland’s sixth manager in four years with the club sunk to the foot of the Championship suffering what has been looking like a terminal relegation hangover following last season’s painful drop from the Premier League.
Coleman arrives with a reputation for motivating players and fostering a close-knit atmosphere in the set-ups he’s managed in before. Seemingly commanding respect in the dressing room, the new Sunderland boss is set to take charge for Tuesday’s trip to Aston Villa.