ELLIS Short’s own personal rating took something of a knock among Sunderland fans this season after a tortuously testing campaign for those on the terraces.
The Black Cats spent more than 90 per cent of the campaign in the bottom three and for long periods looked absolute certainties to be relegated.
And chairman Short, who bankrolled the spending, approved the recruitment, and appointed controversial director of football Roberto De Fanti and head coach Paolo Di Canio, sustained some collateral damage in the backwash from fans.
Fans were asked to mark both Gus Poyet and Short out of 10 and while the Uruguayan had less than two per cent giving him marks under five, more than 10 per cent of supporters marked the American under five.
Despite that though, the most popular mark awarded to him was seven out of 10, while he also polled strongly for five, six and even eight out of 10.
More than 10 per cent gave Short a rating of nine or 10 out of 10 and the chairman could be happy with that in a season in which he sacked both De Fanti and Di Canio and apologised publicly for appointing the Italian head coach in the first place.
John Capeling of Bedford awarded a five and spoke for many when he said: “Had it not been for the first two months of the season, I would have awarded him more.”
But Kevin Chambers of Sunderland said: “He had to take a lot of blame for Sunderland’s season.”
Rob Hall of Houghton-le-Spring said: “He always seems to sell our best players and leaves us short in a lot of areas. Criminal that he has let so many players run contracts down. Hope he has learned lessons.”
Those who awarded him much higher marks naturally saw things differently.
“He has backed us with money. Hope he continues,” said Wayne Carlin of East Hebburn.
Sebastien Thelwell of Sunderland said: “I cannot say enough about an owner and chairman who was honest enough to admit he made errors and then fixed the problem.
“Also it’s obvious he does not look on the club just as an investment.
“Anyone who scores him low should take a look at the blokes who are running other Premier League clubs.”
YOUR COMMENTS ON ELLIS SHORT’S PERFORMANCE IN THE 2013-14 SEASON:
“He’s put the money in,” Karl Bowe, Darlington.
“He called the shots when he needed to, I believe he has Sunderland’s interests at heart,” Joey Andrada, Gateshead.
“He has given every manager, players they wanted. Took a risk with Paolo and it didn’t pay off. It was a gamble and it could have worked. No hindsight please,” Albert Conroy, Haswell.
“He is the boss and carries the can for me,” Syd Hutchinson, Coxhoe.
“Di Canio’s appointment was poor, as is the general chaos that seems to surround the club of late. No direction or leadership,” Andy Tarn, Sunderland.
“Hasn’t spent enough and the appointment of Di Canio and De Fanti was a complete disaster,” Chris Blyth, Houghton.
“Must make a reasonable transfer budget available to Gus Poyet,” Gerard Young of East Yorkshire.
“Had no choice with Martin O’Neill and made good his mistake with Paolo Di Canio,” David Bakewell, Worcs.
“Needs to be more hands on,” William Molloy, South Hylton.
“Not enough football experience since Niall Quinn left,” Michael Jose, Blackhill.
“I give him six – minus 10 for Paolo Di Canio, plus 16 for Gus Poyet,” Roger Mason, Chelmsford.