'He did a brilliant job': Former Sunderland coach makes surprising Martin Bain claim

Former Sunderland assistant manager Kit Symons has hailed the work done at the Stadium of Light by Martin Bain – having revealed how the former chief executive made him aware of the club’s involvement with Netflix.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 2:35 pm

Bain appointed Symons alongside manager Chris Coleman in a bid to preserve Sunderland’s Championship status.

Both Bain and the management duo departed at the end of the campaign following Stewart Donald’s takeover of the club and relegation to League One and, while Bain’s time on Wearside was viewed by most as a disappointment, Symons believes he did a ‘brilliant job’ under the circumstances.

Speaking to the Dodgy Knee Excuse podcast, he said: “Martin Bain was the chief executive. He did a brilliant job at Sunderland, in my opinion, under very, very difficult circumstances.

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Martin Bain.

“He got a lot of stick from certain quarters, but Martin is a good guy and very good at his job.”

Symons, Coleman and Bain were all key players in the Netflix documentary ‘Sunderland ‘Til I Die’, which proved a critical and commercial success.

But the former Sunderland assistant has now revealed how late he was made of aware of his potential involvement in the show.

“We’d sort of agreed the contract and just about to sign them, and he was like ‘one last thing I need to let you know’ and then he dropped in about the Netflix doc,” admitted Symons.

“It was a bit late by then!

“I don’t think it was actually in the contract but the owner at the time. Ellis Short, had agreed to do.”

Coleman openly admitted his willingness to remain at the Stadium of Light despite the club’s relegation to League One, with Symons admitting that targets had already been identified ahead of a potential promotion push.

“We’d been speaking to players already for League One,” he said.

“We had a couple of lists going for players we wanted to bring in.

“We’d had quite a few meetings with agents and stuff like that, so we were certainly planning for staying on.

“We were very bitterly disappointed that we couldn’t retain Championship status, but we were fully committed and willing to stay on and get the club back.”