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Why Sunderland was wrong to sack Chris Coleman

Monday 30th April 2018

Ellis Short has finally done right by Sunderland, writing off an outstanding debt estimated at over £100 million. It takes his overall investment at the North East club to almost £250 million. The Black Cats, however, haven't seen money translate into success. 

Mismanagement has crippled Sunderland, ultimately damning them to League One. Another big club falling victim to shoddy ownership. In fairness, Short never syphoned profit. Unlike many owners who have trod his failed path, he cares for the supporters.  

I will be a Sunderland fan for life and hope to return as a fan to watch them climb back to where they belong.

It was not Short's decision, it appears, to sack Chris Coleman. That looks to have been the wisdom of the new owners. Steward Donald's consortium, of which little is known, will now make the decisions at Sunderland.

Rumours speculate Coleman was sacked as the new owners did not want to shoulder his sizeable salary. Others suggest they are looking for a completely fresh start away from life in the Championship. 

Either way, it was the wrong decision. 

Coleman has been tainted, it would seem, by the previous administration's image. Despite Sunderland having been written off before his appointment, he is held partly culpable for relegation.  

Whether this suggestion has merit is beside the point - Coleman would have been perfect for a rebuilding job next season. 

This is a manager who confronted the Black Cats' precarious position with confidence, vigour and determination. He moved his family from Wales, set his daughter up in a local school and ensured Sunderland was home, rather than a temporary stop. 

Coleman was in it for the long haul. He constantly reiterated his desire to stay even if Sunderland suffered relegation.

Coleman left the reverence of the Welsh population last November for an apparently poisoned chalice. He paid little attention to the potential consequences, though. With his managerial reputation on the line, the 47-year-old saw an opportunity to rehaul Sunderland, in the same way he refashioned and revived Wales following Gary Speed's tragic death.

Coleman is no stranger to adversity; adversity is synonymous with Sunderland. 

Mixing real passion and endeavour to rebuild with his evident tactical nous, Sunderland had the perfect man to lead their new direction.

Some have dismissed Coleman's managerial ability, using the tedious Gareth Bale argument to diminish his achievements with Wales. It's a lamentably parochial perspective, often a product of an Anglo-centric opinion that strives to demean Welsh success.

Coleman was good in press conferences, ferrying his charm in front of the Welsh media to the local papers in Sunderland. He was inspiring, affable and stirring. The Black Cats' fans warmed to his optimistic nature while liking his no-nonsense approach to 'slackers'.

Talking the talk is easy. Some questioned Coleman's ability to walk the walk. Yet he was condemned to a meagre transfer budget, as well as a squad teetering on mutiny.

Under new ownership, ready to invest, support and galvanise a fractured fanbase, Coleman would have thrived. He deserved the opportunity to show his true capability. For Sunderland's sake, let's hope this is the only mistake Donald and co make. 

Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97

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