Stewart Donald confirms that Jack Ross has left Sunderland in club statement
Stewart Donald says the decision to sack Jack Ross was taken with a ‘heavy heart’ as the search for his successor begins.
Ross was sacked just 11 games into the season with the Black Cats sixth and already eight points off League One leaders Ipswich Town.
The Scot had been coming under increasing pressure following four draws and two losses from the opening quarter of the campaign, with the 2-0 loss to Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Saturday the final straw.
News of Ross being sacked came just an hour after it emerged the prospective takeover by the group of American investors is in doubt, with Donald insisting he was still confident of securing investment with a further update to come later this week.
The Sunderland owner admitted the decision to sack Ross was a hugely difficult one and thanked the former Hartlepool United defender for ‘achieving stability’ at the club.
James Fowler, Ross’ assistant manager, took charge of the EFL Trophy clash with Grimsby Town at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday evening.
Daniel Stendel has been installed as the favourite for the vacant Sunderland managerial role, with the former Barnsley boss available at odds of 7/4 having left Oakwell on Tuesday morning.
Other early contenders to replace Ross include Roy Keane (4/1), Sam Allardyce (5/1), Mick Harford (6/1) and Kevin Phillips (9/1) - all of whom have previous connections with the Black Cats.
Reflecting on the decision to sack Ross, Donald said: “This is a decision that has been made with a heavy heart.
“When we arrived at the club 18 months ago, we appointed Jack because we felt that he was the right man to take Sunderland forward over a number of years.
“Jack has worked extremely hard, and has helped us achieve stability at the club, and I sincerely thank him for his efforts. I hope and believe that he will go on to have a successful career in management.”
The club statement said that the process to appoint a new manager ‘would start tomorrow.’