Comment: Grayson's Sunderland exit brutal & necessary; but CEO Bain equally culpable for epic fail

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So Grayson has gone. Proved himself to be hopelessly inept and out of his depth. But he was hardly helped by the figure who brought him to Sunderland, Martin Bain. 



The end for Simon Grayson came swiftly with brutal timing minutes after he had witnessed his side fail to beat bottom club Bolton. Few can argue it was not necessary and not deserved. 

The man plucked from Preston in the summer to answer the call from this most faded of giants had proven himself to be out of his depth and by the end of October already beyond help in the graveyard that is Sunderland AFC. 

Grayson proved incapable of assembling a back-line who could concede less than a couple every game and his inability to get the best out of the squad and settle on an effective system, quickly exposed every facet of the limitations that others had warned us of, but which the North Yorkshire native had managed to compensate for in his previous roles. 

Sunderland has a habit of doing that. 

But the executive who brought Grayson to Wearside is equally culpable for this latest point of failure and few who follow the fortunes of the Black Cats will have much faith that CEO Martin Bain will be able to lure a decent replacement to the Stadium of Light. 

If Grayson has cast doubt over whatever reputation he arrived with, it still must hold that he was hung out to dry here by a club which is incapable of amending itself to function effectively.  

Sunderland has a habit of doing that. 

After David Moyes proved as much a victim of the rotten insides of Sunderland as he was architect of his own downfall, so too Simon Grayson has been chewed up and spat out by the rank incompetence which passes for a boardroom within the Stadium of Light. 

It is only a week ago that chief executive Bain was boasting in the local press with a self-congratulatory reflection on his 16 months at the helm of Sunderland AFC. And whilst it was clear the former Rangers supremo was positioning himself to side-step the blame that would come when Grayson's end finally came, it is Martin Bain who must be also be held to account for another terrible season unfolding at the Stadium of Light. 

The desperate spin presented by Bain to a local press unable or unwilling to question him properly now looks faintly ridiculous set against another five goals conceded since at the Stadium of Light with just one point gained from what should have been two winnable games. 

Presenting himself as merely the martyr tasked with a terrible mission to conclude, Bain assailed a quiet half-term news week with headline after headline filled with boasts of his own personal qualities and belief in his quest, oblivious to the Halloween horror which would play out by October 31st. 

Bain has now appointed two managerial disasters, and not just appointed but also worked with, directed and influenced. When he lauded Sunderland's summer on the cheap after transfer deadline day saying that the club had brought in the "right type of player" regardless of finance, his naivety in thinking a £1.25m spend on the squad would lead to any other position than the Championship bottom three is simply astounding. 

After an awful summer in which Bain oversaw that misjudged pursuit of Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes only to be snubbed at the eleventh hour, and that once-in-a-generation humiliation when Celtic came to town and smashed it up - a day which was supposed to be a Sunderland 'celebration' - it is incredibly difficult to suggest anything than other than the man's reign as chief executive and de facto chairman has been anything other than a disaster for this football club. 

Ellis Short may be the man ultimately responsible for Sunderland's ongoing and increasingly rapid fall from grace, but Martin Bain is hastening the decline with gleeful abandon. 

We will likely never know what those "obstacles" were that Grayson alluded to in his press conference on Monday. But whatever they were - and are - they will no doubt still exist  for the next man. 

Seemingly unaccountable with no effective board of directors to question him, the chief executive is again tasked with finding a first team manager for the club he oversees. Precious few will have any faith in him stumbling across anyone decent or stupid enough to come here. 

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