With Sunderland about to enter their first season back in the Championship, after a ten year stay in the Premier League, we are facing an immense period of uncertainty and ensuring that the right managerial appointment is made here is key.
Whilst in the recent past there has been some moving of the goalposts when it comes to what managers have been promised by Ellis Short and what was ultimately delivered, the fact is that Sunderland's problems are completely out in the open now and it is no secret that the job that the next leader of this football club takes on will be a mammoth one.
We're all fully aware now of the issues that the club faces going forward.
The true nature of these problems probably didn't come to light properly until this past year, and understandably this will put off a number of the higher quality of applicants that are sounded out over the role.
Just in case you are unaware of the litany of issues the new manager of Sunderland will contend with going forward, they are, in no particular order:
- Like many of the managers before you, you will most likely not be allowed to bring in any of your own coaching staff. Perhaps not even an assistant - we have a coaching structure already in place that the last three managers have had to work with, and I suspect that you will be no different.
- The club's debt levels are swollen, and our wage bill is frighteningly high - even for a Premier League club. It's more than likely that you will have stand idly by as key players are sold without your full consent, and from the day you walk through the door one of your main objectives will be in assisting our chief executive in re-balancing the expenditure on wages.
- Your budget will be incredibly slim, not on par with the majority of the top teams in the division.
- You will inherit a squad that is unbalanced and is riddled with a streak of failure that runs through each and every player, and because of the lack of funds you have available you will have to work with the majority of what you have got.
- The owner is actively seeking new buyers for the club, so whilst your job will be secure initially no promises can be made in the event of the ownership changing hands during the course of your time here.
The one redeeming feature that Sunderland has over most of their competitors is the sheer size of the club, the facilities and the fanbase. Ten years in the Premier League is no mean feat and whilst the last five years or so have been gruelling for the supporters, still they turn out in their droves to support a team that have failed them on a consistent basis.
Regaining our trust and our love is key. We don't demand anything other than 100% from anyone fortunate enough to represent this club, whether that be on or off the pitch. We're a loyal bunch but we'll let you know if you aren't giving enough to the job - just ask David Moyes.
Even taking the immense issues that our new manager will face into consideration, I urge anyone offered this role to look beyond our problems and see just how fantastic a prospect this club can be to someone looking to make their name in the game.
So what if we are skint and the squad is fractured - a manager with the right coaching skills and the ability to motivate a group of players left unenthused by the previous leader is all that is required. We want to see someone that embraces this football club, that will attempt to love it as much as we do.
Take all of our problems, put them in a bag to one side and see this club for what it really is. Embrace our beautiful Stadium of Light and everything that comes with it. Tell the fans what you plan to do, hold us close and make us a part of this journey. Throw an arm around our players and make them feel ten feet tall again.
Organise, enthuse, project charisma and positivity. Back yourself and your methods and have faith in your ability to take this football club back to where it belongs.
Do you feel up to the task?