Jack Ross reacts to Director of Football rumours and gives insight into his long-term Sunderland plans

Jack Ross wants to improve Sunderland's structure on the footballing side but is not aware of any interest in John Park
Jack Ross wants to improve Sunderland's structure on the footballing side but is not aware of any interest in John Park
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Jack Ross says he is unaware of any interest in former Celtic recruitment boss John Park.

Park was linked with a move to Wearside in the Scottish media this morning, who suggested that he could be set to take a post as Director of Football.

The Echo understands talks have not been held, with Park instead touted to the club by a potential new investor.
Ross is eager to improve the club's footballing structure but Park is not part of that currently.

Chairman Stewart Donald had earlier taken to twitter to deny rumours that current Head of Recruitment Tony Coton has left his post, and Ross was keen to stress his productive relationship with the former Sunderland and Watford goalkeeper.

"I didn't know anything about it until someone directed me towards the article this morning," Ross said.

"From my very early days here I've worked with Tony Coton in his role as Head of Recruitment.

"It's been a difficult year for Tony health wise but fortunately he's back to full health now. He's somebody I've really enjoyed working with and has become a friend as well as a colleague.

"He's helped me enormously with his experience and contacts in the game, I've certainly not heard any different in terms of Tony continuing his role and me continuing that relationship with him.

"You never know what's around the corner in football but I didn't know anything about the report and quite obviously my focus has been on the game on Thursday night."

Donald is set to make a decision on a new investor soon, regardless of how Sunderland's play-off campaign pans out.

Ross is eager to make significant improvements to the club's footballing operation after the significant turmoil last summer.

Indeed, a key part of his plan is to improve the tools available to Coton in his current role.

As of yet, however, those plans have not developed into any advanced talks or identification of potential candidates.

"I've said a lot that I would like more structure on the football side of the club," Ross said.

"Stewart knows that and we've had lots of discussions about that, I've put forward some ideas and proposals. I do think we need to make improvements but I've alluded to that before, continuing to get better as a club in terms of where we were last year to where we are now.

"But in terms of the actual job titles or roles or anything like that, I've had no further dialogue on that respect.

"On the football side of the club, it needs to be a bit cleaner, a bit smoother.

"I've never really complained too much about it because one, I quite like the autonomy, having responsibility in this building. But it's quite a big club to run as well and if we could just make it a bit smoother for everybody, it's always about trying to make things better.

"I've never really got caught up in titles or roles, it's just about improving what we have at the moment," he added.

"Making it better not just for me but for Tony in terms of the breadth of our scouts, what areas we're covering and what games we're covering.

"All these things went to ground zero almost in the summer and then were probably a bit down the list of priorities if you like.

"So it's about catching up in some areas."