Simon Grayson sacked by Sunderland after Bolton draw
Manager Simon Grayson has left Sunderland after a 3-3 Sky Bet Championship draw with Bolton, the club have announced.
The Black Cats released a statement via their official website within minutes of the final whistle to confirm Grayson's departure after Paddy McNair's late equaliser had spared them the ignominy of slipping to the foot of the table.
The statement said: "Sunderland AFC has this evening parted company with manager Simon Grayson. The club would like to place on record its thanks to Simon and his staff for their efforts during their time at the football club.''
The announcement came barely 24 hours after Grayson had insisted he was the right man for the job and deserved a chance to put things right after having "the balls'' to take it in the first place.
However, chief executive Martin Bain made his move with the cash-strapped club in very real danger of suffering a second successive relegation.
Bain said: "Simon and his team have worked tirelessly to achieve the best for the football club during their time here. While we hoped that Simon's experience in the Football League would help us to a successful season, results have not been good enough for a club of this stature.
"In order for us to improve upon our current position, we believe a fundamental change is necessary.''
Grayson's assistant Glynn Snodin has also left the Stadium of Light with the pair having presided over just 18 games, 15 of them in the league.
Sunderland have drawn four of their last five games, but have not won in 13 league outings and have not collected three points on their own pitch since they beat Watford 1-0 in the Premier League in December last year.
They sit in 22nd place in the table -- one position higher than they were before kick-off -- with just 10 points from the 45 they have contested to date.
Bain, on behalf of owner Ellis Short, will now launch the search for a 10th permanent manager since Roy Keane left the club less than nine years ago.
Grayson, who had enjoyed success with Preston during a spell which lasted more than four years, replaced David Moyes at the helm in June knowing there would be little money to spend and with a squad unfit for purpose.
He managed to bring in Aiden McGeady, James Vaughan, Jason Steele, Robbin Ruiter, Marc Wilson and Callum McManaman at minimal cost and Brendan Galloway, Tyias Browning, Jonny Williams and Lewis Grabban on loan, but was unable to mould a winning team.
Even a late McNair equaliser, which denied bottom-of-the-table Bolton victory on Wearside, could not spare him as the axe fell barely before the players were showered.
Wanderers boss Phil Parkinson said: "I feel for Simon. He is a tremendous manager, with a great record. Any manager who came here would find it a tough challenge.
"I had to turn Bolton round from a relegated team. Changing that mentality after relegation is difficult, but he will be back because there will be a lot of people interested in him. I shook hands as you normally do. You normally go for a drink in the office. I will probably just get on the coach and give him a call later in the week.''