I have not witnessed anything like this before where I have never spoken to a chairman. Fifteen years I have been a manager and I have had huge arguments with various chairmen because I wanted one thing and they wanted another. That is football, that is normal. But to have no conversation with him at all is bizarre, That is strange.
The club needs help. Whether it is me or someone else who walks through the door, we need someone above us to say we can or we cannot do this or that.
Those were Chris Coleman’s words when asked about Ellis Short’s truancy from the club - stark, blunt, and tinged with a sense of anger.
The Welshman’s shock speaks volumes about the bewilderment we all felt with regards to Ellis Short’s absenteeism. Of course, fans don’t need to be reminded of the Chairman’s indefinite sabbatical.
Consecutive relegations and extensive debts act as painful reminders of the American’s reign on Wearside - a reign that began with so much promise before slowly disintegrating into the bedlam we’re faced with today.
I do not have any (feeling towards Short) because I do not know the guy.
I know he has ploughed a hell of a lot of money into this club and for some time, he has not wanted to be here. I know all the history but I have never been in his company. So it is very difficult for me to say how I feel about him.
Fans have pleaded in the past for Short to speak, and occasionally he has done so. Yet, ultimately it hasn’t been enough because actions always speak louder than words. And in recent years, Short simply hasn’t acted.
When things on and off the pitch began to falter, Short distanced himself from the team he owns. He gave up his money, yet did little to effect leadership or strategy. There was no direction from Short, instead he relied on the ill advice of others - much to the ruination of our club.
Short’s time as owner of Sunderland AFC is undoubtedly edging closer to its end. He won’t be remembered fondly by many; after all, he’s presided over the lowest ebb of our history in the modern era.
Reserved, understated, and absent, Short’s distance has bred distrust - and that has undoubtedly hurt this club.
He wants out. Fine. It’s about who comes in - I don’t want to be the one who misses out on this thing turning round.
Coleman’s complete lack of relationship with the man in charge also speaks volume about the problems at the club. Limited communication, scrambling from month to month with no clear plan or long-term strategy - is there any wonder we’re down?
Martin Bain might be in de-facto control, but he doesn’t have access to the kitty - he doesn’t control the purse strings. Ellis Short has tied our manager’s hands behind his back with his previous poor decision-making, and to simply turn his back on our faltering club whilst he waits for a sale is nothing short of pathetic.
It would be unfair to suggest that Ellis Short has single-handedly ruined this club, but he’s certainly done little to actively grow us. Instead, we’ve wobbled from crisis to disaster with no leadership from on high to guide us back in the right direction.
Ellis Short has simply seen our club fall to its lowest position in thirty years, all under his stewardship. However, there is one final thing he could do for us to perhaps save some face: find new ownership that cares about Sunderland AFC.
I’m not doubting the owner cared at some point, but it’s clear to see that those days are long gone. Now, Short holds our future in his hands and Wearside waits with baited breath to see what comes next.