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Sunderland appoint Simon Grayson as manager; ex-Leeds boss to oversee rebuild in three year deal

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Sunderland have confirmed that Simon Grayson has agreed to take over the role as manager, leaving Preston after four and a half years with the Lancashire club.

Swindon Town v Preston North End - Sky Bet League One Playoff Final Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images

Simon Grayson has left Preston North End to join the black cats on a three year deal which finally marks the start of Sunderland's season.

Simon Grayson has been appointed as Sunderland’s new manager after putting pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

A seasoned manager who has taken charge of over 600 games, Grayson has vast experience of building and improving teams and he arrives on Wearside following a four-year spell at Preston North End where he led the Lilywhites from the lower reaches of League One to Championship play-off contenders.

The new Sunderland boss will meet up with his squad tomorrow before flying to Austria to oversee a five-day training camp alongside his assistant Glynn Snodin, as Robbie Stockdale and Adrian Tucker continue in their respective roles.

And speaking to safc.com, Grayson hailed Sunderland’s tradition and support before turning his firm attention to the job that lies ahead.

I am delighted to come to Sunderland, a club with such wonderful history and tradition, and I’m excited by the opportunity to manage this club and I want to bring the good times back.

Sunderland are so fortunate to have such tremendous support and I want to give these fans a team they can be proud of.

I want a group of players full of desire, team spirt and a never-say-die attitude - that’s the very least that we should expect from a Sunderland player.

The Championship is a demanding league, but with all the attributes I have highlighted then our aim has to be to get the club back to where it belongs as quickly as possible and I can’t wait to get started.

Speaking about the appointment, chief executive Martin Bain revealed that Grayson’s passion and enthusiasm for the task at hand instantly stood out.

We warmly welcome Simon to Sunderland.

From the outset he demonstrated a tremendous enthusiasm for the job and his desire and ambition to make this football club better shone through.

Wherever he has managed, he has improved those clubs, which is a clear indication of his ability to build a team on solid foundations and create the right environment for success, and these are certainly attributes that we as a football club want to embrace as we embark on our own re-building process with him at the helm.

Finally, in welcoming Simon, I would also like to extend my thanks to the chairman and board of Preston North End.

I know they were understandably keen to retain his services and we thank them for their cooperation during the discussion process.

After the potential takeover deal fell through on Thursday, the club acted quickly to contact Preston about their manager who has gained a reputation for producing good teams on a small budget at Championship level, something that will have appealed to Sunderland.

Preston North End have indicated in a club statement that Sunderland had to meet a compensation clause in his contract however it is not known what that amount is.

Grayson joins on the first day of Sunderland's pre-season and will be tasked with uniting and inspiring a squad to push for promotion in the Championship after a season of bewilderment under David Moyes.

The list of important jobs for Grayson to address is expansive but among the most important are signing first team players at bargain prices. It has been heavily suggested all summer that funds available to any new manager will be minimal and that is unlikely to have changed. However Sunderland's statement regarding the failed takeover talks suggests that Ellis Short may yet dip into those expensively-lined American pockets of his.

Reaction to signing Grayson has been mixed but most fans appear to want to get behind the new man and generate some positivity around the club for the first time since Sam Allardyce's reign. As long as he offers a more upbeat outlook for the club than his predecessor he'll have a much easier jobs of getting fans and players on his side.

Grayson's pre-season schedule includes 6 away games at Bury, Bradford and Scunthorpe as well as quick tour of Scotland. The pre-season schedule will also feature an exhibition game against Brendan Rodgers' Celtic to celebrate 20 years of the lads playing their football at the Stadium of Light.

The Championship kicks off on Friday 4th August with a tough home game against Derby County. Needless to say Grayson will need to see some good performances and results from his team's early games to restore confidence at a club that has been through an awful lot this summer.