So Sunderland have finally got their man.
More than two weeks after the ignominious departure of Simon Grayson, Chris Coleman will be unveiled as the club's new manager in the next 48 hours.
It's been a long, laboured process. Names have come and gone, discussions have taken place the length and breadth of the country and with a 'shortlist' that was in danger of looking like the length of the Wear, a line can finally be drawn under the search.
Martin Bain has come in for some serious flak over the hunt. His motives and ability have been questioned - 'jobs for the Rangers boys'; 'doesn't know what he's doing' - but this appointment is a real statement of intent.
He needed it. Sunderland needed it.
Rock bottom of the Championship, with a squad low on morale, confidence and structure, there was two ways Sunderland could have gone.
The first school of thought was to rip it up and start again. Appoint a young, hungry manager with no baggage, just fresh ideas, and give him the time to build a team in his own reflection. The second theory was that only a high-profile, charismatic manager could rescue the club from the mess it has got itself into.
The only problem with the latter was the feeling that Sunderland - £110million in debt and having given Grayson just £1.5million in the summer to construct almost an entirely new squad - was such an unattractive proposition that any manager of any stature would run a million miles.
Paul Heckingbottom - who was seen as the epitome of the young, hungry option - had reservations about the job, while another target, Michael O'Neill, ruled himself out of the running. Aitor Karanka was another manager whose name was initially mentioned but then drifted down the pecking order, but all the while, Bain held firm in his belief that he wouldn't be rushed into an appointment.
He had to get the right man, however long it took. This appointment surely vindicates that lengthy search.
What Coleman's decision to come to Sunderland shows is that the club still has the capability to attract big names. Martin O'Neill, Roy Keane, Paolo Di Canio, Sam Allardyce and David Moyes are all high-profile managers who have tried to turn the Black Cats around and while their success has been mixed, what they have all shown is that desire to tackle what is still one of the big jobs in English football.
Coleman's stock is high. Just 18 months ago he led Wales to the semi-finals at Euro 2016, their first major tournament since 1958. He had often spoken of a return to club management, and it was expected that he would have a number of suitors. With that in mind, and looking down the list of other possible options at Bain's disposal, this represents something of a coup for Sunderland.
As with every managerial appointment, there is a risk. Coleman's success in club management is mixed and there is no guarantee he will save this ship from sinking, but he appears to have grown as a coach, leader, tactician and motivator over the last six years with the Wales.
He will need all those skills to drag Sunderland out of the mire, especially given that finances are likely to again be tight in January.
In the short-term, however, he has given Wearside a lift and belief that while things may be tough right now, there may be hope for the future.