Ex-Blackpool boss Grayson given the boot at Sunderland

Grayson during his time as Blackpool manager
Grayson during his time as Blackpool manager
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Former Blackpool manager Simon Grayson has been sacked as Sunderland boss after just 18 games in charge.

His departure, announced 17 minutes after a 3-3 draw with bottom-of-the-table Bolton Wanderers, comes just four months after he was appointed.

He took over at the Stadium of Light in June after replacing David Moyes, who left the club following their relegation to the Championship.

Grayson won just one game and leaves the club second from bottom in the Championship table.

A statement released by Sunderland read: "Sunderland AFC has this evening parted company with manager Simon Grayson.

"The club would like to place on record its thanks to Simon and his staff for their efforts during their time at the football club.

"Assistant manager Glynn Snodin also departs."

Sunderland's chief executive Martin Bain added: "Simon and his team have worked tirelessly to achieve the best for the football club during their time here.

“While we hoped that Simon’s experience in the Football League would help us to a successful season, results have not been good enough for a club of this stature.

“In order for us to improve upon our current position we believe a fundamental change is necessary."

Grayson ended his playing career at Blackpool, where he was offered his first managerial post in 2005 after Colin Hendry’s exit.

He won promotion to the Championship with Pool via the play-offs in 2007, ending the club’s 30-year wait to return to the top two tiers, but couldn’t resist the lure of Leeds United in December 2008.

He later managed Huddersfield before joining Preston North End in 2013 and repeating his Bloomfield Road feat of promotion to the Championship with their arch rivals.