What is Sunderland's January transfer budget? Simon Grayson’s future? Takeover latest? Key questions answered

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Simon Grayson, Martin Bain and Ellis Short all came under the microscope in our latest Sunderland AFC Facebook Live chat.

Our team of Sunderland writers were joined by fan Rory Fallow, who contributes to the Wise Men Say podcast and Roker Report.

Here are some of the highlights ahead of a potentially crucial week.

Where do you stand on Simon Grayson as manager?

Phil Smith: "I don’t think in the short term he has to do an awful lot to keep his job, my hunch would be one win out of the next two would be enough for Grayson to keep his job.

"I know a lot of fans might not accept or agree with it but that would be my instinct. It is a difficult one because you have a chief executive whose big thing is football stability.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson.

"At the same time because of the wage bill and the quality of players, the chief executive thinks they can compete for the play-offs. At some point there is a breaking point. Grayson was his appointment and Bain needs Grayson to succeed. He will want to give him time."

Rory Fallow: "Where is the breaking point? These next two home games. Six points has to be the target.

"If we can’t get at least a point off Bristol and can’t beat Bolton then you have to call him into question. We need a minimum of four points, otherwise it will be really difficult for him to turn it around."

What did you make about Bain’s comments on Grayson’s future and January plans?

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain.

PS: "We were all a little bit surprised Bain was quite cagey when asked about Grayson, he was given multiple opportunities and was pressed on it but skirted round the issue.

"But we know how he likes to operate and it would take something extreme for him to change managers - but the support wasn’t unequivocal.

"He knows after what happened last season, he can’t afford to have the same approach. He is conscious it won’t wash this season.

"There is a different set of circumstances, the cagey response probably reflected that."

RF: "I appreciate Bain has come into a pretty terrible situation and has a difficult job to do but at the same time, he didn’t come out and fully back Grayson because of what happened with Moyes, his fingers were burnt last season - it raises questions in terms of how are you running things on the football side?

"To give him credit, he brokered the McManaman and McGeady deals and it isn’t his fault Sunderland have a really small budget."

Bain and Grayson have held preliminary talks about January, which areas need strengthening?

PS: "Reading between the lines they won’t go out and spend a fortune.

"Sunderland’s wage bill is probably being eaten up by a small number of players, some of which aren’t even first team regulars. Sunderland will find it hard to sell some of these players.

"There is not a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, certainly not in January."Sunderland need a striker, maybe a new right-back and central midfield needs tearing up and starting again but you have four players on good wages who you will find hard to shift."

RF: "I would agree, if you potentially lose Kone too you would need another centre-half.

"Midfield definitely needs looking at, it will be interesting when Paddy McNair is fit. Lee Cattermole needs dropping, I don’t think anyone has confidence in Jack Rodwell."

The sale of Sunderland fell through this summer, will fortunes change while Short remains in charge?

PS: "It is time for a change. It needs a fresh outlook, fresh enthusiasm, and fresh investment and new ideas around the place, some new philosophies.”

RF: "I think everyone agrees Short needs to go. He came in with all the will in the world, has backed us financially but made poor decisions. We need new life breathing into the club from the very top."

To watch the full SAFC Facebook Live Q&A click here: