Sunderland no longer for sale as Martin Bain confirms Ellis Short remains fully committed

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.
Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.
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Chief executive Martin Bain says owner Ellis Short remains fully committed to Sunderland and says the club is no longer for sale

The drawn-out search for a new manager was hampered while takeover talks with interested parties including a German consortium, were ongoing.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

But once it was confirmed talks had collapsed and Short would remain in charge, Sunderland moved to secure Simon Grayson to replace David Moyes.

Bain sat alongside Grayson at his official unveiling at the Stadium of Light and he outlined that the club is no longer for sale, while also defending Short's record.

American billionaire Short has bankrolled Sunderland since he took charge seven years ago and has since invested more than £250m of his own cash into the club.

Bain said it was only right to talk with interested parties but once it became clear a sale wasn't in the best interests of Sunderland, the club had to move on.

Bain said: "If you want to sit in front of someone and work with them closely then there is no point having a discussion if there is an uncertainty about what the future might be.

"Those talks were brought to closure within a certain timeframe and only then could you sit in front of someone and talk with clarity about the plan going forward.

"I wouldn't say it has been parked, I would say the club is not for sale now.

"At this moment in time, Ellis has very much said, 'I will listen to the parties, but I will set a deadline and if they can take the club forward on and off the pitch...'.

"He has a responsibility towards this club but decided it wasn't in the best interests to carry on those discussions any further.

"He has owned the club for nine years now, he has funded the club hugely and is very committed to the football club and still funds the football club.

"Many clubs would be envious of having an owner like Ellis Short.

"There is always a lot of speculation and commentary about the ownership of this football club."

Grayson said he was comfortable he had all the assurances he needed once takeover talks had fallen through.

He added: "Preston got approached once the takeover negotiations had finished.

"There wasn't going to be a takeover and Mr Short made it clear he wanted to be part of this club.

"This was something that really ticked a lot of boxes for me."

Sunderland had moved for Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes in the wake of Moyes' departure from Wearside but the Dons boss rejected the club's attempts to land him.

Once the uncertainty around the takeover talk was over, Sunderland moved for Preston North End boss Grayson and Bain was delighted to capture his signing.

Bain said: "Our aim in recent weeks has been to appoint the right person for the job, our aim was to appoint someone sooner but we were involved in takeover talks that ultimately Ellis, our owner, put a deadline on.

"At that point decided that we would not carry on with those discussions, in the interests of Sunderland football club he has always said he would listen to anyone that would take the club forward on and off the pitch.

"It was felt that the time was to stop those talks and look forward to the pre-season and the rest of the season.

"That has led to the appointment of Simon. He is a candidate that at the very outset we considered for the job.

"He was one of only a couple of people we spoke to. I believe he has all the qualities needed to take this football club forward.

"We saw someone who is coming to Sunderland football club to give something to the club, not what the club can do for him.

"That is about his ambition, his desire to succeed.

"With that he brings an abundance of experience of the Championship.

"I am looking forward to working with him and I am sure we can achieve success together," added Bain, who will hold further "in-depth" discussions with Grayson over transfer targets.