'The atmosphere was awful': Chris Coleman's brutally honest verdict on his Sunderland spell and dealing with Ellis Short

Chris Coleman has delivered a brutally honest verdict on his time at Sunderland – and the ‘awful’ atmosphere he walked into.

Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 5:01 pm

Coleman was appointed in November 2017 with Sunderland languishing at the wrong end of the Championship table, but failed to pull the Black Cats away from relegation trouble.

He left the club following Stewart Donald’s takeover, bringing to an end a spell which saw Coleman left frustrated by a lack of communication from then-owner Ellis Short – who he claims wouldn’t even take a text message from his manager.

And the Welshman has lifted the lid on the state of the side he inherited – and how tricky it was to work with a chairman who refused to communicate.

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Former Sunderland manager Chris Coleman

"The club were bottom of the league, (had) just got relegated from the Premier League," said Coleman, speaking to Elis James’ Feast of Football Podcast.

"The chairman was selling the club - there was no sign of the chairman. He wouldn't even take a call from me, he wouldn't take a text message from me.

"It was a hell of a mess and the atmosphere was awful unfortunately.

"The greatness of the club is there but right at the heart of it at the time, there was a lot of negativity."

Despite his negative experience with Short, Coleman insists that he would do it again were the opportunity presented to him.

"I would go again. If I rewound it back, I would still go," he added.

"I would still take the chance on Sunderland because I was right about it in one sense, that it is a great club.

"It was just in a spot that whatever was needed to change their fortunes around, I didn't have it."

Coleman is currently out of work after a spell managing in China, and has his sights set on a return overseas for his next role.

"My dreams and desires are still to manage abroad,” he admitted.

"I don't know exactly where. Something might have happened before this pandemic but then that got stopped.

"Beggars can't be choosers. There are not many managers who can choose where they go and I am not one of them.”