bruce in the frame?

Sunderland to take time over appointment

May 27, 2009
By Soccernet staff

Sunderland have moved to cool rumours that Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce will be installed as their new permanent boss.

Steve Bruce
EmpicsSteve Bruce: In demand?

After avoiding relegation to the Championship by two points the north east, interim manager Ricky Sbragia chose to revert to his role in the backroom staff.

Earlier on Wednesday it was suggested that Wigan had agreed to let Bruce speak to the Wearsiders, though that now appears to be premature with chairman Niall Quinn insisting there will be no rush to appoint a new permanent manager.

The news comes on the same day that American businessman Ellis Short, who bankrolled their summer spending spree last year, assumed total control of the Black Cats, taking his share of the company from the original 30% and buying out Quinn's consortium - though Quinn will remain in his role as chairman.

Quinn said: "It goes without saying that the search for a new manager has started and we will take whatever time is necessary to make this important appointment.

"It is imperative that we find somebody who will raise the bar and introduce a whole new mentality to our dressing room.''

For his part, Bruce remained diplomatic when asked about the speculation. He told Sky Sports: "All the speculation, you can't stop that.

"It's flattering, but I am very, very pleased with what's happened with us and pleased with what's happening in the future, so we will see what develops.'

Quinn said of Short's takeover: "This is fantastic news for the club. Ellis has already shown tremendous commitment to date, but today's announcement opens the door for a new era at the Stadium of Light. I first met Ellis at the Ryder Cup in 2006 and he was immediately interested in the Sunderland story and what we were trying to achieve.

"He's an avid sports fan and caught the football bug following his move to the UK 10 years ago, and is now a huge fan of the Premier League. Even before today, he has personally invested more in Sunderland than all previous chairmen, directors and owners combined in the club's history.

"Late last summer, he injected tens of millions of pounds to fund our new signings and the resultant increased wage bill.

"In going forward, as long as we invest the funds wisely, he will continue to provide what has been the missing ingredient in Sunderland's make up, namely the financial muscle necessary to compete at the highest level.

"And Ellis' involvement to date also enabled us to turn down a club record bid of up to £20million for Kenwyne Jones from Tottenham Hotspur in the January transfer window.

"In addition, he enthusiastically supported the decision to introduce industry-leading reductions in the cost of all season tickets for thousands of fans for next season."