Sunderland have appointed former Manchester United manager David Moyes to replace Sam Allardyce as boss at the Stadium of Light, the perennial Premier League strugglers said on Saturday.
Moyes — the northeast England club’s ninth permanent boss in less than eight years — signed a four-year contract with the Black Cats and was chairman Ellis Short’s “first choice” to take over after Allardyce was named the new England manager this week.
Moyes, 53, who was sacked from Old Trafford in the immediate post-Alex Ferguson era and then had an unsuccessful stint in Spain with Real Sociedad, will be tasked with keeping Sunderland in the Premier League for another season.
The Scot started his managerial career with Preston in 1998 but really made a name for himself at Everton, before his ill-fated spell at Manchester United, where he was fired after less than a season in the 2013-2014 campaign.
Moyes told the Sunderland website: “I am delighted to have joined Sunderland. I am relishing the challenge and excited by the opportunity.
“I have taken over a big British club, with a great support, and I’m looking forward to working in the Premier League again.
“I look forward to continuing the good work done by Sam.”
Moyes had been the bookies’ favourite ever since Allardyce was linked to the England hot seat, and Sunderland moved swiftly to put him in place after the Allardyce appointment was confirmed on Friday.
The Black Cats, who tried numerous times to lure Moyes before, are crying out for managerial stability and Short believes Moyes is the man to provide it.
“We are absolutely delighted to welcome David Moyes to Sunderland, who was by far and away our first choice,” said Short.
“He is a man whose football pedigree speaks for itself and is someone I have long admired. I have spoken with him on many occasions and I have always been hugely impressed.
“He was my number one managerial target for the last five appointments, but his desire to honour existing contracts meant we were not able to bring him to Sunderland previously.”
Short added: “It is our aim to become a better, stronger and more stable football club and with a manager of David’s calibre and experience at the helm, we have a fantastic opportunity to begin looking upwards, rather than downwards every season.”
Moyes has managed more than 800 senior games in club football and boasts a wealth of top-level experience.
After promotion with Preston, Moyes moved to Goodison Park in 2002 and oversaw a largely positive tenure which ended when he succeeded Ferguson in the United hot seat ahead of the 2013-14 season.
He signed a six-year contract at Old Trafford but was sacked after just 10 months, with the Red Devils seventh in the Premier League.
A fresh challenge in Spain followed, in November 2014, but he lasted only a year in the role.