After growing rumours over the last 24 hours and his odds cut to 1/8, Sunderland have released an official statement on Friday night confirming Sam Allardyce as their new manager.
The mackems have continued their derby tradition of appointing a new manager just ahead of the Newcastle match.
Sam Allardyce has signed a two year contract and his first match will be away at West Brom before his home debut at home to his old club Newcastle.
As if this game needed any extra edge…
Sunderland Official Statement
‘Sam Allardyce appointed as manager
New manager confirmed on two-year deal.
Sunderland AFC have confirmed the appointment of Sam Allardyce as manager.
The 60-year-old has agreed to a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light and takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
Speaking about the appointment, chairman Ellis Short said: “I am very pleased to welcome Sam to our football club.
“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 north east 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.”
Mr. Allardyce expressed his delight at joining the club, stating: “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.”
Enjoying over 25 years of experience in English football management, Allardyce began his coaching career with West Bromwich Albion, before moving into management with Blackpool and Notts County.
An eight-year spell at Bolton Wanderers followed in 1999 where he enjoyed huge success, guiding the Lancashire club from the Championship to the English top flight and bringing European football to the club for the first time in their history.
After success with Bolton, Allardyce was approached by Newcastle United, where he spent a short spell on Tyneside, before a quick return to management with Blackburn Rovers in 2008.
After two years at Ewood Park, Allardyce was appointed manager at West Ham in 2011, guiding The Hammers back to the Barclays Premier League one year later.
After three years at Upton Park, Allardyce left West Ham in the summer with the club having qualified for European football.
Allardyce is currently fifth in the all-time list of Premier League games managed, having taken charge of 400 top flight games with four different clubs. During this time he has claimed six Manager of the Month awards.
Prior to entering into management Allardyce enjoyed a 19-year playing career, predominantly at Bolton Wanderers.
He spent the 1980-81 campaign on Wearside, playing 26 times for the Black Cats and captaining the club. Under Peter Reid’s tenure, Allardyce returned to Sunderland AFC in a coaching capacity, as Director of Youth.