Chris Coleman on takeover latest and why he'll seek future talks with Ellis Short

Reports of Niall Quinn's involvement in a takeover this week offered hope to Sunderland supporters, but came as a surprise to the club.

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 3:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th March 2018, 3:26 pm
Short is open to selling Sunderland

There is knowledge of interest in the Black Cats but for now, a change in ownership is anything but imminent.

The Quinn speculation was brought to a swift halt by the man himself on Wednesday, again raising the prospect of uncertainty dragging into the summer.

Chris Coleman knows a change at the top is probably the only way to shift the needle at the ailing club, and waits patiently for positive news. As of yet, there has been little to be overly excited about.

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He said: "I speak with Martin [Bain] on the serious stuff – if people speak to Ellis, which has not really happened too much.

"The stories that come out with people linked with the club, we don't really go with that because we know it isn't true.

"Martin keeps me updated with everything when he has had conversations with the chairman, so I know what's going on, but there has not been much to report in terms of there being a serious buyer who wants to come in, buy the club and move forward.

"We've never really got that far down the line with anybody.

"I knew that Quinny stuff wasn’t true. I wouldn’t be disappointed, I’ve known Niall for a long time and he loves this club, but I didn’t see anything in it.

"We need someone to come and buy it, with a strategy and a plan. That could be curtains for me of course, but I very much hope it is not. But that is what the club needs. We need it to happen as quickly as possible so wherever we are, we can have a new start and move forward."

Coleman was aware of Short's intentions when he took over from Simon Grayson, and was under no illusions that he would be asked to produce the goods with little immediate investment.

Nevertheless, his tenure has been a disappointment by his own admission, and 'big' changes are needed.

"I knew that Ellis wanted to sell and I thought, in all my optimism, that we would probably have a buyer by now because this is a great club.

"And I thought that if we were still in the bottom three in January, maybe we would have more of a punt, to be honest, in terms of bringing players in.

"None of that happened.

"I also thought that I would have had a bigger impact in my own work, which hasn't really happened – I look at myself as well," he added.

"I'm not telling you anything that, if I had the chance to speak to Ellis, I wouldn't say to him. Everything needs to change here.

"There are big, big, changes needed here, and I knew that even before I spoke to Martin.

"He laid it all out for me and I knew what was here.

"We are just hoping and praying that it is in the Championship with a new owner, as opposed to anything else or anywhere else."

The possibility of Short staying in control is a strong one, clearly.

While there is interest in the club, the financial difficulties, the likely prospect of dropping into League One and declining revenue streams mean that it is not an easy sell.

In that scenario, Coleman, who has still not directly spoken to Short, will seek to sit down with the American and thrash out a plan going forward.

He said: "If that is the case [no sale], I will need to sit down with the chairman and I will do – myself, him and Martin – to see where we go from there, because that is a possibility.

"I'm hoping that's not the case, we're all hoping that there is going to be change but that [no change] is a possibility, and if that happens I will need to sit down with Ellis and ask if we can have a bit of help in areas.

"A little nudge in a certain direction, and see if he would be interested in coming back to the table because that's what the club needs.

"Sitting down with somebody across a table is always the best way to do business.

"If you are delivering news, good, bad, or indifferent, it is always best to do it that way.

"It gets diluted a bit through emails and phone calls and whatever, so across the table is always the best way."

All on Wearside hope it does not come to that.