'I would have stayed' - Ex-Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce reveals truth about summer of 2016
Ex-Sunderland boss and fan favourite Sam Allardyce has opened up about what it was really like working under Ellis Short – and revealed he would have stayed on Wearside had the England job not been offered.
Allardyce guided Sunderland to Premier League safety in 2015-16 and was popular among the fanbase but he left the Black Cats when the England job was offered to him in the summer of 2016 following the humiliating exit from Euro 2016.
Big Sam insists he would have remained at Sunderland had that job not come up. He was replaced by David Moyes and Sunderland were relegated the following season.
Reflecting on his time at the Stadium of Light, Alladyce told the What the Falk! podcast: “I would have stayed.
"I met with Ellis before the England job came up and I had not even the faintest hope of being the England manager that season.
"I had not even an inclination that there would be a chance for me to acquire that position.
"Me and Ellis had met privately in London and I am a big man on sitting together and getting everything out in the open.
"Ellis is a straight talker and so am I so that was probably why we had a mutual respect for each other. We hammered out the plan for the next season. Some of my recommendations would not fall into line with some of Ellis' and some of Ellis' wouldn't fall into line with me.
"I wouldn't say we had totally put that to bed and agree on which way we were going but we were certainly at about 65-70 per cent of where we had to go.
"From my point of view, we couldn't rest on our laurels and say we have now got a team that has lost two in 10 or three in 15. If we stay as we are that won't continue next season.
"I would say four players that couldn't be frees or couldn't be loan players unless we persuaded a massive player at that stage, we had to purchase four players of real quality.
"If you look at the four players we brought in [in January] - three we signed and one on loan - we had made the right choices. We would probably make the right choices again in the summer.”
Allardyce added: “Obviously from Ellis' standing, and I could understand his point of view, there had been some bad choices previously where players arrived, hadn't performed to their level, and left with the club losing a vast amount of money on them.
"That was a problem Sunderland had at that particular time. But we were 65-70 per cent through the budgets and I think that was a very good meeting.
"I was feeling pretty confident about the fact my focus was that we weren't going to start that season like they had done the last four or five."
Ultimately it wasn’t to be, Allardyce was named England boss and Sunderland have since suffered back-to-back relegations to League One.