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Exclusive: Ex-Sunderland boss Chris Coleman spills the beans on his ‘relationship’ with Ellis Short

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In an interview with the Roker Rapport Podcast, ex-Sunderland manager Chris Coleman told the warts-and-all story of his ‘relationship’ with former Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

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Chris Coleman is Unveiled as New Sunderland Manager Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Former Sunderland manager Chris Coleman was the latest guest on the Roker Rapport podcast, as he joined our host Craig Chapman to discuss his time at the club.

Amongst the subjects discussed, Coleman talked about why he left as manager of the then high flying Welsh international team to join a club who were bottom of the Championship.

The 49-year-old revealed that the lure of such a big club was too strong and that he had always wanted to be at a big club with the opportunity to build something special.

Obviously, that did not work out but Coleman has no regrets about taking the Sunderland job but does have one regret, his experience with former Sunderland owner Ellis Short:

I broke the cardinal sin for managers, I picked the club and not the chairman. That can be dangerous, which I found out to my detriment but Sunderland’s an absolutely super club, it’s a great club.

I just thought, whoever turns that round there - and it will get turned round - and whoever does that they’ll know all about what it’s like to be at a proper club.

I’ve just always wanted to be at a big club and have the opportunity to build something. I had six years with Wales, where I was given a bit of time and I built it into what it wanted and it was fantastic but I just wanted to do that with Sunderland.

Yeah the national management is different but sooner or later I was going to go back into club management and everyone said that you don’t have to go because they are rock bottom, the club’s falling apart, the chairman’s selling but I thought someone’s going to come in and buy the club, because it’s a great club, and they’ll see the opportunity that they can build.

I wanted to be a part of that and I thought I could turn it around, I knew it wouldn’t be quick but I thought I could turn it round.

So I don’t regret my decision coming to Sunderland because I met some of the best people I’ve ever met during my time while I was up there.

I regret signing my contract for the chairman because to this day I don’t understand why he got me in, because he never, ever spoke to me, not one word, not one phone call, nothing. I don’t understand why he wanted to bring me to the club to then abandon myself and the club, especially in that first transfer window, which was all important.

We were desperate for some financial support and we got absolutely zero, on the back of losing five, you would say, are our starting eleven players in Jonny Williams, Duncan Watmore, we lost Robbin Ruiter the ‘keeper, we lost the striker when Grabban went back to Bournemouth - which was his club and it was in his contract, there was nothing we could do to stop him going back to his club - and we lost Darron Gibson.

The list was alarming and I always said, even if we had them, we still needed to bring in some reinforcements because we had players at the club we really needed out of the dressing room because they weren’t part of the fight, we really needed to get them out by hook or by crook and we needed an injection of two or three players already on top of what we had.

Once we lost those five players, then the alarm bells were ringing in everybody’s ears, except for the chairman’s ears. He just didn’t want to know.

I’ve always got a lump of concrete in my stomach when I think about that because it didn’t have to happen like that.

But I don’t regret going to Sunderland, for the club and for the people because they are absolutely superb and I found out what it would be like to be at a big club.

Alright we were rock bottom of the Championship, we ended up getting relegated but it’s still a big club and I found out what it was like to be a part of that.

You can listen to the Roker Rapport podcast with Chris Coleman for free by subscribing via iTunes, Acast, Spotify or YouTube, as well as following our social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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