Revealed! The two key Sunderland figures tasked with finding the next manager

Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald. Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald.
Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald.
Stewart Donald has tasked Richard Hill and Neil Fox with leading the hunt for Sunderland's new manager.

Hill, the Black Cats' head of football operations, is playing a key role in identifying the right man to replace Jack Ross, who was sacked by Sunderland on Tuesday.

And he will be assisted by board member Fox, who joined Sunderland last year.

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Donald will make the final decision but has called on the duo to work on a shortlist.

Hill followed Donald from Eastleigh FC last year, having been manager and director of football at the non-league club.

He is heavily involved in transfers and recruitment, working alongside Tony Coton.

Fox is a long-standing colleague of Donald's, with the pair having worked together on a number of projects, including at Eastleigh, where Fox was company secretary.

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Donald has called Fox his 'right-hand man' at Bridle Insurance, a business Donald recently sold, and appointed him to the Sunderland board of directors in September 2018.

The pair are also shareholders in a joint venture called Foxdons Ltd, which is involved in real estate.

Hill and Fox have already approached a number of mangers for the Sunderland shortlist. Wycombe Wanderers have given permission for them to speak to Gareth Ainsworth, but Coventry City declined an approach for their boss Mark Robins.

Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook and ex-Barnsley boss Daniel Stendel are also under consideration, while Ian Holloway and Nigel Pearson remain outsiders.