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Fan Letters: Reflecting on Chris Coleman’s departure and whether Sunderland’s owners were right

There are plenty of conflicting opinions on whether it was the right or wrong decision to sack Chris Coleman flying around in the wake of his departure. Got something to say? Email us: - we’ll include your message in the next edition.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Although there has been an outpouring that Chris Coleman has been badly done to in being shown the door, I can see both sides of this argument.

In respect of a non-existent transfer budget his hands were certainly tied, however as Welsh manager he had an extremely limited selection of quality players to choose from (albeit we could certainly have benefited from having Ramsey and Bale!).

The new owners may well have a preferred new manager in mind already and may look at Coleman’s performance as below par – one would have thought that there was enough quality within the squad to finish above the bottom 3. I admit that all 3 goalkeepers have struggled, but sticking with a settled defence and goalkeeper seems to me to be common sense – I would have tried and probably persevered with young Stryjek rather than constantly swapping between Ruiter, Steele and Camp.

Another possible issue is Coleman and Symons’ salaries – were they being paid Premier League money on the basis that we were hoping to bounce back, and that they are unaffordable in League One?

Nevertheless, I wish them both well in their future careers as the playing staff and board clearly did not give them much support.

Although I have reservations about the new owners, until we know a bit more about them and their plans – being debt free and starting with virtually a clean slate can only be good news.

The loan players (Galloway, Browning, Williams, Ejaria, Fletcher, Clarke-Salter), who frankly have all disappointed will go back to their parent clubs and those out of contract allowed to go their merry ways – hopefully Rodwell’s conscience kicks in and he does the honourable thing.

In addition funds from the sale of Borini, Lens and possibly Khazri and Kone should allow the new manager enough to attract some hungry young players who wish to progress their careers.

If we can hang onto McNair, Honeyman, Gooch, Love, Asoro and Maja then they can become the nucleus of a new squad that will give their all for the club.

Along with many others, I am hopeful that we can again bounce back at the 1st attempt and that another Gabbiadini and Gates combo will be ready to emerge.

Better times ahead.

Alan Pieroni

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I must admit Alan that I share your optimism. We have to be optimistic, don’t we? This is a genuine chance to rebuild and become a force once more - I was seriously worried that we’d be facing another season under Ellis Short, and whilst the deal hasn’t actually gone through yet it’s expected that Stewart Donald will pass the EFL’s stringent testing process and will be our new owner in a matter of weeks.

Whoever the new manager is, they need to have the backing that their predecessors just didn’t have. The freedom to clear out the backroom staff, scouting and recruitment system and the playing squad and then put groundwork in place that can set us up for a more successful future in the years to come.

Eastleigh v Northampton Town - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Sunday was an absolute roller coaster. First came the announcement that Chris Coleman had been sacked - and I’m thinking “what the hell!”

.... then we found out that Ellis Short has sold up, and that we are debt free!

So firstly I’d like to talk about my disappointment with Chris Coleman leaving. I liked Chris, he seemed committed, he wanted to be here, he appeared to buy into what Sunderland should be and genuinely wanted to be the manager with 45,000 singing their hearts out at the Stadium of Light.

Unfortunately he did have enough time to steer us to safety, which he ultimately failed to do. I can only assume that the new consortium has a person in mind and Coleman leaving was part of the deal. They must also assume EFL ratification for the takeover is a formality.

Short selling. He wanted to and the fact that we now have British-based owners I think is a positive. Despite what we think of Short and his tenure he has left us debt free... albeit in League One.

So from the debt perspective, I have huge respect. You could of course question why did he not clear the debt last season and give a little investment into the playing side - I guess we will never really get that answered.

So to the future - excitement, trepidation... who knows.

Paul Wood

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’m also disappointed by Coleman’s departure, but share your sentiments on the fact that he had enough time to improve us and didn’t, which is probably why the new owners wanted him to leave. By all accounts he’s paid a lot of money, and when weighing it up they’ve probably thought they’re better off appointing their own person. Sad, but that’s football.

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