Sunderland likely to appoint 'Head Coach' with crucial technical director appointment set to mark rebuild
Sunderland are set to appoint Kristjaan Speakman to the role of Technical Director.
The move is set to reflect a rebuild of the club's footballing operation, with the club likely to appoint a 'Head Coach' to replace Phil Parkinson.
Speakman has been the Academy manager at Birmingham City since Janauary 2011, and has been at the midlands club in some capacity since 2006.
Having graduated from the University of Derby, his first coaching role came in the Pride Park academy in 2000.
Speakman had been expected to be given a similar role at Birmingham City in 2019, and indeed is thought to have had increased responsibility at the club in recent times.
The club's recruitment department is in significant need of a rebuild, with Tony Coton still to be replaced following his summer departure.
It is also widely known that the scouting operation is in need of major improvement after the significant reduction in staff that followed the club's relegation to League One.
Speakman's role is likely to include significant recruitment responsibility, and is also likely to include an input on the club's footballing strategy from the academy up to the first team.
The appointment was widely reported as a key element of the change likely to accompany the change in majority ownership expected at the club.
Speakman is thought to have impressed senior figures with his record on player development at St Andrews, where a number of exciting talents have emerged in recent years.
He is likely to be expected to work closely with the new 'head coach', when appointed.
Danny Cowley remains the favourite with the job for the bookmakers, and has admirers at the club.
The Echo has previously reported that the club have been casting the net wider in the search for Parkinson's replacement, with applications from the continent
The departure of Jack Ross in 2019 and had led to a search in which experience of managing in League One was the key factor.
This time around it appears the appointment is intended to reflect a different strategy.
Speakman's appointment looks set to be one of the key pieces of the puzzle.