Chris Coleman opens up on Ellis Short, League One and Sunderland’s future

Sunderland boss Chris Coleman. Picture by Frank Reid
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman. Picture by Frank Reid
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Ellis Short’s absentee ownership continues to cast a shadow over Chris Coleman’s Sunderland tenure.

Coleman is still yet to speak to the American and the Black Cats boss has repeatedly said that he is keen for a summit.

He holds out little hope, however, despite Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Burton Albion that confirmed Sunderland would play third-tier football for only the second time in their proud history.

Coleman faced the press afterwards and said ‘whatever was needed when I arrived, I haven’t brought it’.

Despite a club statement promising that the club would ‘rise again’, there was no word from Short or chief executive Martin Bain.

Coleman said the uncertainty had been difficult and, as of yet, there is no sign of resolution. He said: “It has not been easy, to be honest. I have not witnessed anything like this before where I have never spoken to a chairman.

“Fifteen years I have been a manager and I have had huge arguments with various chairmen because I wanted one thing and they wanted another.

“That is football, that is normal. But to have no conversation with him at all is bizarre.

“If he was stood here, I would ask him what he expects of us. I do not know what he would say if he was standing there and I am not expecting him to be.

“We just have to be realistic in what can be delivered. I know what this club needs.

“But he may have a different plan. At the minute, he does not want a lot to do with us.

“He wants out. Now we are where we are.

“The club needs help. Whether it it is me or someone else who walks through the door, we need someone above us to say we can or we cannot do this or that.

“I do not have any emotions towards him because I do not know the guy.

“I know he has ploughed a hell of a lot of mnoney into this club and, for some time, he has not wanted to be here.

“I know all the history but I have never been in his company. So it is very difficult for me to say how I feel about him.”

Coleman admitted that he expected to have a bigger impact after his arrival on Wearside in November, but insists he knows what the club needs to bounce back.

He said: “Could I have done better here, could I have done better there? I am not going to blame Ellis. I know what I was walking into and I thought I could have affected it more and I haven’t, not like I wanted to.

“He wants out. Fine. it’s about who comes in? I don’t want to be the one who misses out on this thing turning round.

“I want in anyway. Even if it is with Ellis.

“There is only one objective now for Sunderland and that’s promotion. We can’t do it now but we can in the next league.

“There’s no stabilising, it’s about bouncing straight back, bang. Whether it is me or someone else, that’s what it has to be.

“I know what needs to be done, the question is who is here to do it.

“I think there is enough young talent to do this, and this is Sunderland Football Club.

“No disrespect to League One, I think we can still attract good enough players to make a difference and to get us heading in the right direction.

“Even if it is League One, Blackburn have just done it, Wigan ... it can be done.

“The problem is we don’t know who the owner of the club is going to be and that puts doubt into everyone’s mind.

“Until we know for certain who it is going to be, am I the manager, there’s the owner … until we know the plan, that’s only when we can start judging what we can do.

“I want to be here, but I can’t definitely tell you I am going to be here.

“That decision will not be mine. It will be someone else’s.”