Sunderland will take time over a successor to Margaret Byrne

Margaret Byrne
Margaret Byrne
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Sunderland will take their time over the appointment of a new chief executive after Margaret Byrne’s resignation at the Stadium of Light.

Byrne’s five year spell in charge of the day-to-day running of Sunderland came to an end on Tuesday after she resigned with immediate effect under growing scrutiny into her decision-making during the prosecution of Adam Johnson.

Sunderland are catching their breath after Byrne’s departure, with the Black Cats determined to make sure they appoint the right candidate to lead the club forwards.

Chairman Ellis Short is understood to be seeking opinions from both inside and outside the club about Byrne’s successor, and the candidates that could be available.

But it is expected to be several weeks before a new chief executive is appointed, with Sunderland under no pressure to make an imminent decision.

Short faces a key decision over the club’s future though after largely leaving the day-to-day running of the club in Byrne’s hands.

There were concerns from both club staff and those outside the Stadium of Light throughout Byrne’s tenure that Sunderland required a chief executive with a greater footballing and business background.

While trained-lawyer Byrne proved her competency as the club secretary, there were reservations over her leadership credentials and suitability for the top role at the club.

In the interim period , commercial director Gary Hutchinson and finance director Angela Lowes are in charge of the club’s senior management.

Byrne resigned earlier this week after admitting a “serious error of judgement” in allowing Johnson to prolong his Sunderland career.