Martin Bain leaves Sunderland as club makes chief executive position redundant

Martin Bain has left Sunderland following Stewart Donald's takeover, with the club making the role of chief executive redundant.

Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 4:01 pm

Bain has opened up about his departure admitting the last couple of years has been a "testing period" for him personally in "exceptionally difficult circumstances".

The former chief executive at Rangers and Maccabi Tel Aviv joined Sunderland in 2016 to replace Margaret Byrne.

Martin Bain.

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With Bain overseeing day to day running under the previous Ellis Short regime, Sunderland suffered back-to-back relegations and will play in League One next season.

Sunderland's latest set of accounts, which covered the 2016-17 season, revealed Bain was paid £1.2million, making him the highest paid chief executive in the club's history.

Donald has thanked Bain - who appointed David Moyes, Simon Grayson and Chris Coleman during his time in charge - for his work during the takeover process and wished him well for the future.

It was widely expected that Bain would depart Sunderland following confirmation of Donald's takeover with the new regime taking charge at the Stadium of Light.

Bain said: "My position of CEO at Sunderland AFC has been made redundant and I will be leaving the club with immediate effect.

"I wish the new owners and those involved with the club moving forward well for the future.

"During the last two years, I have had the honour and pleasure of working alongside a dedicated and passionate group of staff, who have nothing but the best interests of the club at their core.

"I am hugely appreciative of the steadfast support they have given me and I truly hope that they get to enjoy happier times.

"It has been a testing period personally in exceptionally difficult circumstances and I sincerely wish for a brighter future for the club and its supporters."

At his official unveiling on Monday, Donald refused to be drawn on the future of Bain and said it wasn't fair to talk publicly about any of the club's staff but within 24-hours Bain's departure was confirmed.

Donald, said: "We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Martin for all of his efforts during his time at the club and in particular for his work during the takeover process, which we very much appreciate.

"We wish him well for the future."

With the role of chief executive now scrapped, Donald and fellow director Charlie Methven had already made it clear they would be taking a hands on roll at the Stadium of Light and despite being based in Oxfordshire, they would regularly be in the North East.

Methven, speaking at the unveiling on Monday, said: "The bottom line is that we’re both very much ‘roll your sleeves up’ people."

"Ellis has largely been an absentee owner, I don’t think that’s a controversial thing to say and I don’t think he will deny that.

"That will not be the case with us. We will be very hands on.

"Both of us create and run business and like to be very hands-on in all aspects of it. I’m not saying we’ll be picking the first team, but you’ll see us out and about doing quite a lot."