Sam Allardyce has been confirmed as Sunderland Manager.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) October 9, 2015
The 60-year old had been out of work since leaving West Ham on the final day of last season and takes over from previous boss Dick Advocaat who recently left the club.
The Black Cats are struggling in the bottom two of the league, along with fierce rivals Newcastle, and remain winless thus far.
Former Bolton, Blackburn and Newcastle manager Allardyce has penned a two-year deal at the stadium of light and is reported to have been owner Ellis Short’s number one target for the vacant position.
There had been suggestions that the ex-Preston and Notts County boss had been unsure as to whether to agree to a job he has described as challenging.
However, he will become the first man to have taken charge of both Sunderland and arch rivals Newcastle when the two meet in the Tyne-Wear derby on October 25th.
“I have enjoyed my break from football and now I’m raring to get back. I met with Ellis and we spoke at length about the club and his ambitions and I knew I wanted to be part of that”.
“I hope to be able to help to bring the stability and success that everyone wants”
“Of course it’s a challenging job, but it’s something I have experience of in the past. I’m looking forward to working with the players and, of course, I will be relying on the help of the Sunderland supporters, whose tremendous passion I have experienced first-hand. I can’t wait to get started.”
“Sunderland is a club he knows well and he was the obvious best choice for the job. He has vast experience of managing in the Premier League and an understanding first-hand of the northeast and the passion of our fans, which will stand him in great stead”.
“I would like to assure our fans that once Dick made us aware of his intention to leave, Lee Congerton oversaw an organised and structured recruitment process, that bore very little resemblance to what has been described in the media”.
“For example, this was a very popular job, proactively sought after by a large number of managers – contrary to much of what has been portrayed. The process was made easier by the fact that Sam was such an obvious choice”.
“The other misconception is that Sam had to be persuaded to join us; nothing could be further from the truth. From the very beginning, he understood the importance of this job and showed great enthusiasm for the role and a desire to be part of moving this club forward”.
Despite reports that any agreement would only be until the end of the season, Allardyce has agreed on a two-year contract with Sunderland’s American owner.
The 60-year-old had originally let his reservations about the position be known, but owner Short was determined to land his No 1 target.
The American billionaire believes Allardyce is the man who can rescue the club from relegation.
Allardyce will kick off his Black Cats reign at West Brom a week on Saturday before a home unveiling against North-East rivals Newcastle, the club he managed for just eight months after being appointed in 2007.