Former Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has told BBC Sport that he does not believe Ellis Short is to blame for the club's woes.
Poyet was in charge for what was arguably the highlight of Short's tenure, a League Cup final at Wembley and the most dramatic late season charge to safety.
He was dismissed from his post in the following season after a 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, and stands by his claims that 'something inside the club' is wrong.
He said: "There is something inside the club that doesn't let it be as successful as it should be,
"I don't think it is anything to do with Ellis Short.
"It hurts a lot because I had a great time there.
"We always talked regularly when he was in England, London, Sunderland or in America,
"When you change the manager many times and it doesn't get better, then people blame the directors and the chairman.
"I had a fantastic time with him when I was there. We were always very honest to each other, he knows what I think about everything that was happening there and it is fantastic for him to remember those things I said to him and that will stay between us."
Poyet had a win ratio of just over 30% when he left the Black Cats. He has been manager of Bordeaux since January of this year, with the side currently 9th in the table.
Short admitted on Sunday that his tenure 'had not gone as he had hoped' and he has agreed a deal to sell to an international consortium fronted by Stewart Donald.
The deal is currently been considered by the EFL.