Sunderland’s Short-Termism a Long-Term Problem


Charlie Bailes looks at the succession of short-term decisions that have undermined Sunderland’s progress since their promotion to the Premier League in 2007…

Sunderland’s sacking of Paolo Di Canio after only thirteen games has been viewed by many as a failure of short term thinking. Looking for a quick fix to keep them up, Sunderland turned to a manager with an unpredictable nature believing he would fire his players up enough in order to maintain their Premier League status. Di Canio achieved this, only barely keeping Sunderland three points above the relegation zone and of course beating Newcastle on their own ground.

But a poor start to the season on the pitch and alleged unrest led to Di Canio’s sacking. The Italian’s nature may be unpredictable yet many of his actions at Sunderland were entirely predictable; rash decisions, unusual methods and outward criticism of his players were something that must have been expected after his period of management at Swindon. Knowing this why did Sunderland let Di Canio work closely with Director of Football Roberto De Fanti to sign 14 players? This short term thinking has left Sunderland in a position of unrest and an almost definite relegation scrap. Yet Sunderland’s problems stem far further back than hiring Di Canio, short term thinking has long been a pitfall of the club. Continue reading