clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

News: Club legend reveals how he almost became Sunderland manager during failed takeover bid

During an interview with the Roker Rapport Podcast, Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips revealed that he was approached to be the club’s new manager as part of Tony Adams’ failed takeover bid back in 2017.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Sunderland v Derby Sunderland AFC

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips was the latest guest on the most recent edition of the Roker Rapport podcast. During the discussion he talks about his career with the club, how the move came about, his international career and much, much more.

While he was with us in the studio, we asked Phillips whether he had ever came close to returning to Wearside - and he revealed that an opportunity arose in the summer of 2017 to become the club’s new manager!

The former Black Cats striker explained that Tony Adams had put together a consortium with the aim of buying the club from Ellis Short, and he was their choice for the new manager should the takeover have succeeded:

When Simon Grayson got the job, I’m playing golf in a tournament at the Belfry and I get a phone call from Tony Adams, believe it or not.

Tony says; Kev, ‘I’m putting a consortium together to buy the football club. He said: listen, if we get it, we would love you to come in and be the manager’.

Naturally again, without any thought, I went yeah, I would love to.

He says; ‘we are at the early stages, we’re going to put our bid in next week and once we know what’s happening, we’ll let you know. If we get it, we want you to come in’, I was like ‘yeah, of course, no problems Tony’.

They put their bid in the next week and I don’t think it was anywhere near what Ellis Short was looking for and it didn’t happen.

That’s the closest I have ever come to having any conversation with the club, regarding a return to the football club.

My returns now are coming up, chatting to you, watching the game just as a supporter and I enjoy doing that.

We then asked whether, if he was given the chance, whether he would return to the club as a first team coach - but Phillips was clear that he would only want to return as a manager:

RR: Say you were given the chance tomorrow to return as a first team coach?

KP: No, I wouldn’t come up as a first team coach.

RR: Do you feel ready to go into management?

KP: Yeah, I would like a crack at it. Yeah no, I wouldn’t entertain that.

You can listen to the full interview with Super Kev in the YouTube link below but you can subscribe to the Roker Rapport podcast on iTunes, Acast, Spotify or YouTube by clicking the relative links or by entering ‘Roker Rapport’ into your nearest search engine - and make sure to follow us on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).