Sunderland have appointed the former Brighton manager Gus Poyet as their new head coach on a three-year contract, with the confirmation coming early this morning from the Black Cats.
Poyet will bring with him his backroom staff that worked under him at Brighton, comprising his assistant Mauricio Taricco; coach Charlie Oatway and goalkeeping coach Andy Beasley. Negotiations over their contracts were completed on Monday afternoon and Poyet himself travelled up to Sunderland afterwards to meet existing staff.
Poyet was out of contract after his suspension and dismissal by Brighton, who previously had a £2.5m compensation clause in his contract. He met with Ellis Short, the owner of Sunderland, in London over the weekend to finalise the deal. The club’s chief executive Margaret Byrne has also been a key part of the negotiations.
"We analysed a wide range of candidates and believe that Gus' track record, experience, commitment and passion make him the right man to take us forward," said Short.
"We welcome him to Sunderland."
There was no pay-off for the 45-year-old when he was suspended and then dismissed on charges of gross misconduct by Brighton in June. The club have never explained what that charge constituted and it was Poyet’s intention to fight his dismissal in court. That is now likely to change with his focus on the job of keeping Sunderland in the Premier League.
The club have just one point from their first seven games, having brought in 14 players during the summer under director of football Roberto De Fanti. The Italian will continue to work with Poyet and it is not anticipated that there will be significant amounts to spend on improving the squad in the next transfer window in January. Poyet’s deal will include a bonus for keeping Sunderland in the Premier League.
It was expected that Poyet would be in demand come this autumn and there were suggestions that Fulham might make a move for him as Martin Jol struggled at the start of the season. Poyet took Brighton into the Championship play-offs last season where they were beaten by the eventual winners Crystal Palace.
His first game will be after the international break away to Swansea with the derby against Newcastle at home eight days later on 27 October. Having played Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United at home, Poyet still has to face Chelsea and Tottenham – both former clubs from his playing days – at the Stadium of Light before Christmas.