David Preece: Sunderland are left with managerial scraps from uninspiring list – just like with past transfers

Derek McInnes.
Derek McInnes.
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Derek McInnes’s rejection wasn’t a surprise.

Look at it from his point of view. He’s in the his strongest bargaining position in his managerial career after four impressive years at Aberdeen and can afford to wait until the right offer comes along that’s impossible to turn down.

He’s already been stung by walking into a hornets nest at Bristol City and he wasn’t going to make that same mistake twice.

I know there was an air of “it shows what a mess we’re in when we can’t even tempt a manager away from an SPFL club outside the Old Firm,” but there’s more to it than just that.

Yes, the club’s circumstances mean that the scope for potential candidates is reduced in quality but McInnes’s decision was made that bit easier by huge investment coming into Aberdeen via former chief executive, Dave Cormack, who returns to the club having accrued substantial wealth.

Taking Sunderland out of the equation for a second, McInnes now finds himself in a position where he has the funds to take the club a little further on, where previously he might have thought his time had ran its course. This is despite the threat of a mini exodus of players including Johnny Hayes, once linked with Sunderland, moving to Celtic.

Whether the interest was actual or not in Hayes, here’s a case of a missed opportunity to acquire a player at the top of his game for next to nothing in today’s terms.

If he could have been tempted down to Sunderland a year or even six months ago, Hayes would is the type of player who could’ve provided some spark to a blunt attack.

He now has the chance to play Champions League football instead of lighting up the Championship which I’m sure he would’ve done.

From a personal point of view, it was a move that I had a vested interest in.

I was waiting in the traps with my column on what we could expect from a Derek McInnes side and who he could bring with him but new owners and CEO might have different ideas. And if you were investing the amounts of money it’s going to take to turn this ship around, you might be looking further up the managerial tree. And rightly so.

But the possibility of a takeover played its role and we’re now in a position, managerially, like we have been players-wise in the last two transfer windows; picking up the scraps of whatever is left lying around.

Without being disrespectful, looking down the list of bookmakers candidates isn’t inspiring.

I got down as far as the 22nd manager on that list where I reached Slavisa Jovanovic before I squinted my eyes and allowed myself to envisage someone who would be a good appointment.

The fact is, we don’t want a good appointment. We want a great appointment, don’t we? We won’t get it this time though.

At the time of writing, Simon Grayson is 6/4 and in my opinion, at this very moment, until the club’s long-term ownership is finalised, I think that might be the most sensible appointment.

Whether he would take the job, like in the case of McInnes, is another matter. He is a likeable character and after doing a good job at least under testing circumstances, I know there would have been many fans at Elland Road who would have been happy to have had him back there before the appointment of Thomas Christiansen.

I have resigned myself, like many others, for this season to be one of consolidation. A steadying of the ship.

Perhaps that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

After everything that has happened, we all know that to expect to go straight back up would be too expect too much.

If you’re asking me whether a takeover is imminent, I’d have to say no.

Regardless of the noises that are being made from various parties, we’ve got ourselves in a position where we can be used to pump up egos and be messed around by tyre kickers.

That’s what’s so disappointing and disheartening.

Just when you think it can’t get much worse, invariably it does.

Players are going back for pre-season now and whilst I don’t doubt that Robbie Stockade is capable of holding the fort, coaching staff are thin on the ground at the club right now.

With every passing day, the odds against a successful season pile up.

I find it so odd that clubs can find themselves in this position.

Scouting of managers should be the same as players and clubs should always have a contingency shortlist should they lose their manager through their own volition or otherwise.

“Tapping up” is always a source of debate but it happens and it’s naive to think otherwise.

If said shortlist is drawn up, using various channels, it’s an easy process to find out if the targets are viable options and therefore give you a good chance of nailing a target top of your list.

Of course, the landscape is always changing but it would stop the constant rumours and non-truths flying about, adding to the disillusionment already there.

That said, you have to applaud the club for coming out and explaining the situation to the fans and whilst supporters don’t need to know every movement behind the scenes, it’s vital those lines of communication are kept open.

With all of the uncertainty, the fans at least deserve to be kept in the loop and informed before hearsay grows legs and runs away with itself.

Strong and stable? I’d settle just for stable right now.