Sunderland have sacked manager Chris Coleman following the north east side’s relegation to League One ahead of the club’s takeover, the club confirmed on Sunday afternoon.
The 47-year-old, hired in November last year following the dismissal of Simon Grayson, watched on from the dugout as a 2-1 home defeat to Burton Albion last weekend confirmed the Black Cats’ second successive demotion.
“Sunderland AFC announces that manager Chris Coleman and his assistant Kit Symons have been released from their contracts,” a statement read on the club’s official website.
“The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Chris and Kit for their tireless efforts in what has been a hugely disappointing season for everyone involved with the club. The club is unable to make further comment at this time.”
Following the announcement, owner Ellis Short went on to confirm that the decision to part company with Coleman was due to the ownership of the club changing hands – with a consortium led by Eastleigh FC chairman Stewart Donald set to take the reigns.
“It is no secret that I have been trying to sell Sunderland, but I have waited until the right group came along that have the experience, finances and plan to take this great club back to where it deserves to be”, the American business tycoon’s statement read. “Overall, my chairmanship has not gone the way I would have wished.
“I was therefore determined to ensure that I leave Sunderland in the best possible hands and in the best possible state to turn the corner.
“Assuming that Stewart and his group win EFL approval, it only remains for me to wish them, and all associated with the club, the very best for the future. I will be a Sunderland fan for life, and hope to return as a fan to watch them climb back to where they belong.”
Donald, who will now relinquish ownership of Eastleigh, added: “All of us involved in this bid believe that Sunderland represents an extraordinary opportunity.”