Ellis Short says there were a ‘large number’ of people interested in the Sunderland manager job – but that Sam Allardyce was always the No 1 choice.
Allardyce has agreed to a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light and takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
He replaces Dick Advocaat, who stood down after the West Ham United game last weekend.
Allardyce emerged as the early favourite, along with the likes of Sean Dyche and David Moyes, but there were claims that the latter two didn’t want the job, and that Sunderland were having difficulty in attracting decent candidates.
But Short insists that the Sunderland position remains a ‘popular job’ even though Allardyce was the ‘obvious choice’.
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.”