Sunderland have been dealt another blow in their bid to find a new boss after their leading candidate revealed that he had already accepted another offer.
The Black Cats are trying to replace Dick Advocaat, who finally managed to leave the Stadium of Light after six months when staff carelessly left the front door open.
Over the last few days a number of managers including Sam Allardyce and Walter Mazzarri have politely fended off Sunderland’s advances, leading the club to lower their expectations.
The role of Sunderland manager has been advertised at branches of Job Centre Plus in the city, with the job description stressing that a ‘knowledge of football is an advantage but not essential’ and responsibilities including ‘applauding 60,000 booing people’ and ‘attending Wes Brown’s film nights’.
But since extending their search Sunderland have still received fewer than 10 applications, several of which were clearly template emails, so it came as a disappointment today when their outstanding candidate, 19-year-old Liam Baker, ruled himself out of the running.
“We thought we had our man,” an insider at Sunderland told FFT. “His cover letter had very few errors in it, and in our interview on the phone he even seemed to have done some research about what we do.
“He did make some slightly vague remarks about wanting to be involved in the leisure industry and he didn’t seem to know who Lee Cattermole is, but he was head and shoulders above our other candidates, most of whom seemed to want to live in the stadium.
“So I can’t deny it was a real letdown when we heard that we’d been beaten to the punch by Greggs in Market Street. In the end he was more excited by their project and the prospect of getting free pasties, and we couldn’t hold that against him.”
Sunderland are now preparing to turn to Craigslist as their bid to get a manager in place during the international break becomes more urgent.
“We’re at the point where we’d be willing to consider a manager who believes the job to be some kind of sexual arrangement,” FFT’s source said. “We’re not ruling out a dominatrix or exotic masseuse. Failing that we’ll go for Nigel Pearson I guess.”
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