Chronicle Live journalist James Hunter has revealed a telling insight regarding Alex Neil’s departure as Sunderland manager.
The Lowdown: Neil’s sudden exit
After guiding the Black Cats to promotion from League One, Neil led his team to a strong start to life in the English second tier, having gained eight points from their opening five games of the season.
Therefore, with Sunderland fifth in the Championship table prior to the weekend, his move to Stoke seemed all the more peculiar with the Potters sitting a lowly 21st, having earned just four points from their opening five games.
The Latest: Hunter’s insight
In response to various questions surrounding Neil’s salary at Sunderland and Stoke, Hunter shared some information regarding the manager’s exit from the Black Cats.
Taking to Twitter, the journalist claimed: “Doubt accurate figures will ever be made public, but he wasn’t being paid the market rate.
“And even ‘significantly enhanced’ terms didn’t match Stoke’s valuation of him. If you don’t pay the market rate, people leave – in any industry…”
The Verdict: Good record
Following the 41-year-old’s arrival at the Stadium of Light in February, his attitude at the club seemed like a breath of fresh air for Sunderland fans, who have endured pain and stagnation for the last few years.
Where will Sunderland finish in the 2022/23 Championship?
However, a list of managerial candidates has quickly been identified by the Black Cats to replace Neil, with MK Dons boss Liam Manning and Chelsea coach Anthony Barry reportedly in the running.
As per some reports, former Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray is the favourite to replace Neil. If the 58-year-old does end up being appointed, Sunderland fans will be hoping for a replica of his 2007/08 season, when he led West Brom to the Championship title and promotion to the Premier League.
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