Sunderland confirm appointment of new sporting director

Sunderland Chief executive Margaret Byrne.
Sunderland Chief executive Margaret Byrne.

SUNDERLAND have confirmed the appointment of Lee Congerton as the club’s new sporting director.

The Echo revealed last week that former Chelsea chief scout Congerton was line to replace Roberto De Fanti as the club’s director of football after the Italian was axed in January.

Congerton, who had been working as Hamburg’s technical director, will oversee Sunderland’s player recruitment, while co-ordinating their scouting operation.

“I’m delighted to join Sunderland and would like to thank the board and owner for this great opportunity,” said Congerton.

“Working alongside Gus (Poyet) and his team was one of the influential factors in me joining the club and something that I am very much looking forward to.”

Congerton was understood to be Sunderland’s first choice to replace De Fanti after forging a lofty reputation during his time in the Bundesliga.

Black Cats chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “Lee is very highly regarded within football circles and we have been very impressed by him.

“We feel he is the perfect fit for the club in terms of developing our player recruitment strategy and helping to take the club forward.”

Head coach Gus Poyet is thought to have had a say Congerton’s appointment after sharing the burden of Sunderland’s January recruitment with Byrne.

Poyet said: “I would like to welcome Lee to the club. Recruitment is one of the most important areas in football nowadays, so I’m looking forward to working alongside Lee for the best of the club.”