Mick McCarthy was this morning sacked as manager of Sunderland after 3 years in charge. Kevin Ball is to take temporary charge until the end of the season...
After a dismal season in the Premiership that has resulted in only 2 wins and 10 points and sees Sunderland heading for another relegation to the Championship, chairman Bob Murray has wielded the axe, saying that it was 'in the best interests of both parties for him to leave immediately'.
Murray admitted he took 'responsibility for what has proven to be an unsuccessful and heartbreaking season, despite the best intentions, efforts and expectations of every one at the club'.
The chairman added: 'I feel deeply sorry that the excitement, optimism and aspirations of all Sunderland fans looking forward to a return to the Premier League have been rewarded in this way and I apologise for this.
'It is especially tough on supporters who have turned out in numbers week in, week out, despite seeing so little to raise their spirits.
'It is hard to see such loyalty unrewarded and I am sorry that performances and results have not mirrored the tremendous level of support that the club has been given.
'The club did not return to the Premiership just to make up the numbers and whilst we fully expected it to be a tough first season back, none of us expected to be in the position we are today.
'Looking ahead we will be taking our time to appoint a successor for what will be another very important season for the club in 2006.'
Murray spoke for all Sunderland fans i'm sure when he said 'I would like to thank Mick McCarthy for his efforts for the club whilst at Sunderland. We wish him and his family the best for the future.'
More news and reaction to follow...
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