David Moyes’ resignation leaves Sunderland searching for yet another new manager.
This summer had been seen as a vital juncture in Sunderland’s history even before Moyes departed, now it is even more critical.
Two of the biggest issues Bain and Short will have to weigh up is how the new manager will impact crucial transfer plans already drawn up, and how important experience is when it comes to candidates they weigh up.
Plans for the retained list are well in advance and decisions on who will be kept and who will be released will in all likelihood be settled before the new manager takes his post.
Then, however, a big decision is to be made on the issue that will define Sunderland’s future, recruitment.
The new manager will have little funds to work with and a large amount of squad places to fill, making the margin for error small.
David Moyes and the Sunderland hierarchy had fairly well advanced transfer plans for the summer in place, with shortlists drawn, agents spoken to, The Black Cats might look for a manager who knows the UK market well and would be happy sticking to the template already in place.
Or, they could look for a manager with a strong contacts book who would be able to quickly made headway in the market.
This season’s play-off finalists are the best examples of that, with Jaap Stam bringing in a nucleus of Dutch players following his appointment last summer. David Wagner worked the German market brilliantly at Huddersfield, as well as the domestic loan market.
Both have transformed their club’s fortunes in the space of one season with tactical acumen but above all else, good recruitment.
Sunderland’s likely dependence on loans and free transfers is worrying but it does not have to be a recipe for catastrophe.
So a big question when Bain and Short meet candidates will be, are you happy put these plans into place? If not, what’s your alternative?
How important is past experience?
It is an enormous job at Sunderland.
A radical overhaul of a squad, meaning good recruitment essential. Getting that squad, united, fit and ready tactically to play together is an equally big challenge,
So is experience vital?
The Championship is not a division that has been an insurmountable task to newcomers. Stam and Wagner have shown that this season, as Roy Keane famously did at Sunderland.
The mood among the fanbase has been poor this season and it could be argued that most important of all is to galvanise the club and fumigate the atmosphere after years of toil. Add to that the potential arrival of a club legend, say Kevin Phillips or Stefan Schwarz, and perhaps some much needed momentum and positivity can be built.
The other side of the argument is that such is the uncertainty at Sunderland, and the danger of a difficult readjustment to the second tier, that an very experienced campaigner is needed.
Perhaps not the most charismatic of figures, but someone who can work diligently despite off the field issues regarding ownership and the like.
Burton’s Nigel Clough would be someone who might fall into that category.
The scale of the challenge makes appointing a novice and extraordinary gamble but find the right blend of charisma and hunger and it will go a long way to bringing the fans back.