Today, Sunderland have appointed Phil Parkinson as the club’s new manager after Jack Ross was removed from the post just eleven days ago.
Along with his assistant Steve Parkin, Parkinson has signed an two and a half year contract and will take his first training session with the players this morning.
Speaking about his appointment, the new manager told SAFC.com:
It is both a privilege and immense responsibility to be appointed manager of this great club. I’ve been in football a long time now, and Sunderland’s immense history, the passion of its fanbase and its wonderful facilities are legendary within the game.
It’s now up to me to build on the work of my predecessor and deliver the success the fans are so desperate for. This is a good squad of players, and I relish the challenge of working with them to achieve our goal of promotion from League One.
Sunderland owner Stewart Donald spoke glowingly of the incoming boss, saying:
Phil has a proven track record when it comes to achieving promotion and I’m delighted to welcome him to Sunderland.
During a rigorous recruitment process, it gradually became clear that he was the prime candidate to take the club forward. His CV put him on our short list. His references from within the game set him apart.
I hope that Sunderland fans will all join me in welcoming him to our historic club, as we look forward to an exciting few months.
Parkinson arrives after resigning from Bolton back in August after arguing that players and staff had been “hung out to dry” as a takeover bid hindered the club’s summer dealings.
It is believed that Parkinson will arrive with trusted assistant Steve Parkin on Wearside, and that the remainder of Sunderland’s coaching team assembled under Ross will remain with the club where they will now work with Parkinson and Parkin.
When Roker Report interviewed Bolton Wanderers fansite, Lion of Vienna Suite, earlier this week, the fanzine spoke in great detail about Parkinson’s time at the club:
He’s well respected by the majority of Bolton Wanderers fans. His first two seasons were great. To get us promoted to The Championship at the first time of asking and then to keep us up the following year, all whilst being under a transfer embargo, was remarkable.
His last season was disappointing. A mixture of poor results and an awful brand of football meant many fans were calling for his head. Although, off field issues took a toll on matters on the pitch. The way he conducted himself during the final months of administration ensure he’ll be fondly remembered.
Furthermore, the interview concluded with the fellow fanzine arguing that:
He may not seem like a fashionable choice, though you can’t deny he has the right experience to get a job done in this division. He got Colchester promoted and us promoted despite a transfer embargo. There aren’t many managers with his CV free and available.
Whether he’s the right man after promotion is a decision for another day.
But if you’re looking for promotion, Phil Parkinson deserves the chance to do it.
Fans will welcome Parkinson with a large chunk holding doubts about the new manager’s ability to lead a sometimes timid Sunderland side up the league table and into The Championship.
Hopefully the new boss can have a positive impact on the side... quickly.
Furthermore, local journalist Mark Douglas - a Bradford City fan - noted in his recent article that:
Parkinson might not possess the clout, charisma or star dust of some of the other men who have helmed the Black Cats in recent years and supporters will be underwhelmed by a man who would be taking on the biggest challenge of his career.
But there were similar shrugs when he was announced as manager of a Bradford City side that was comfortably the worst, man-for-man, that the club had in recent years.
As such fans will wait with baited breath to see if the new man in the Stadium of Light hotseat is the man capable of getting our promotion challenge back on track.