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Sunderland Press Conference - The Academy of Light

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On This Day (25th May 2018): Jack Ross appointed Sunderland manager!

Following our relegation to League One, the club looked north of the border for the man they believed could lead us straight back to the Championship…

Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

A hectic summer in 2018 brought a raft of changes to Sunderland Association Football Club.

It saw a change of ownership as Stewart Donald took over from Ellis Short, with Charlie Methven joining as ‘Executive Director’- a fancy label for someone who invested very little of his own money into the club.

Donald and Methven’s first job (after their abundance of media appearances) was to find someone they trusted to take on the managerial job and to steer us back into the Championship at the first time of asking.

Many names were mooted, but Jack Ross appeared to be the early favourite.

Sunderland Pre-Season Training Session Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Ross had made a name for himself at Scottish club St Mirren, where he brought them success in the shape of promotion back to the first tier of Scottish football. His polished, youthful demeanour attracted many suitors, with Ipswich Town also said to have been in the race.

On this day, Ross chose Sunderland as his next port of call. He signed a two year deal and expressed his delight upon his appointment.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to take charge of an incredible football club. If you look the history, the facilities and most important of all, the fanbase, you can see what this club can be. To be part of the team to help realise that potential is something that fills me with excitement.”

“From the moment I spoke to Stewart and Charlie, their energy and enthusiasm was evident and I share in that. There’s a lot of work to be done in reshaping the squad to ensure that we hit the ground running in League One, and I can’t wait to get started.”

Ross seemed like the perfect appointment at the time.

His age profile reflected this and it was thought that, between Ross and Donald’s arrival, some freshness had arrived at the club as we began the League One season.

Despite relatively decent results at the beginning of the campaign, the loss of Josh Maja in January, along with an inexplicable amount of 1-1 draws, forced the club to settle for a place in the playoffs, where we lost to Charlton in the final.

Ultimately this was the turning point for Ross.

The end-of-season form in the lead up to the playoff defeat had left many fans baffled and bemused, and it left him in a perilous position going into the 2019/2020 season.

Sunderland v MK Dons - Sky Bet League 1 Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Eventually, he paid with his job in early October with the club in sixth position in League One after we hit a rocky patch of form. He was replaced by Phil Parkinson, whose performances turned out to be even worse.

Sometimes, the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

On This Day (9 June 2007): Midfielder turns down Sunderland return – and heads to Bolton instead


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