So Ally McCoist says he wants the job but Sunderland's top two targets may yet turn it down. After the summer in which Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes rebuked Martin Bain's advances, surely the Black Cats CEO cannot survive another disaster?
Reports suggest Sunderland have made approaches to Paul Heckingbottom and Michael O'Neill to succeed Simon Grayson at the Stadium of Light, yet both could still snub the Black Cats - one to remain at Barnsley and the other to take the Scotland job.
How embarrassing could this get yet? Meanwhile Ally McCoist has been on the wireless to suggest he would fancy a crack at the gig despite claims elsewhere there are issues which would make him accepting a Sunderland offer a little difficult.
So Sunderland's stock is now so low, the up-and-coming boss of Barnsley is pondering turning down the job to stay at Oakwell and the manager of Northern Ireland may yet not really fancy it because he considers that spending a couple of years not qualifying for Euro 2020 with the Scots will be more fun.
And who can really blame them? But someone, or something, has reduced Sunderland to a near laughing stock and perhaps it really is time for a radical rethink if this latest managerial hunt turns into yet another car crash.
It is but a few months since the boss of Aberdeen was entertained by the Black Cats hierarchy only to get the frights once he'd assessed the situation in the cold light of day. The second choice in that search, Simon Grayson, naively wandered in supposedly with his eyes wide open and accepted whatever the reality of the situation was, only for it to quickly blow up in his face.
There is a common denominator here of course - or two. Absent owner Ellis Short and his chief executive Mr Bain. And Mr Bain appears to be making a right old hash of everything he touches and it could get worse yet. But fear not, Mr Bain is being assisted in his pursuit of a new manager by the bloke who runs the youth teams. Laugh? You'll cry.
This morning, Sunderland appear to be doing little other than keeping their fingers crossed that Heckingbottom or O'Neill will conclude 'aw heck go on I'll have a go'. If they don't then what? McCoist is waiting in the wings of course.
If Bain and his aides can't sell this gig to their top two choices, then something will have to give. Surely the failing CEO will have to fall on his sword and admit he simply can't run Sunderland AFC in this fashion of plunging from one deepening crisis to another.