Grayson swaps Preston for Sunderlandby Mick Bates / 29 June 2017, 22:28Tweet
After 235 games in charge and an impressive 44.3% win rate at Preston North End, manager Simon Grayson has opted to trade in Deepdale for the Stadium of Light, replacing the departed David Moyes.
Grayson has been the hot favourite for the position since the middle of the month when it emerged that the first-choice; Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes had opted to stay with the SPL outfit. Aberdeen had finished an impressive second place in the division, nine points ahead of third-placed Rangers but 30 points behind league winners Celtic.
Grayson will be tasked with steadying the Sunderland ship and hopefully taking the team back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. A not unreasonable task considering the team's parachute payment of £47m and the record fee (£25m, rising to £30m) that they have received for keeper Jordan Pickford. However, the club are reportedly in £110m of debt and owner Ellis Short had been trying to offload the club, but a deal with a German consortium that had been on the cards has had the plug pulled.
Sunderland are currently priced around the 4/1 mark to gain promotion and 14/1 to be Champions, although they can be backed at 14/1 to be relegated to League One.
However, he will be without the services of Jermain Defoe who has just transferred to his former club AFC Bournemouth. Defoe had netted 15 goals last season for the Blackcats, a whopping 45% of the total goals scored by the team. Also exiting the squad is the 2nd highest goal scorer from 2016/17 season, Victor Anichebe, who netted a massive three goals.
Back at Deepdale, the early favourite to be Simon Grayson's replacement is former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard who is currently coaching the Liverpool U18 squad and is priced at 7/4. Also in the frame in the next Preston North End manager betting is Fleetwood Town manager Uwe Rosler at odds of 5/2. A surprise in the mix is the former Sunderland manager, David Moyes who would truly make the managerial merry-go-round complete.
Whoever takes charge of Preston, they will need to keep The Lilywhites safe in what will be their third consecutive season in the Championship and hopefully improve on their 11th place finishes in both terms. A feat that has not been achieved since their 2008/09 outing when they finished in 6th place, where they failed to gain promotion to the Premier League in the playoffs when they lost 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals to Sheffield United.
Preston are currently priced at 16/1 to gain promotion and 50/1 to be Champions and 9/2 to be relegated.
All odds quoted courtesy of Sky Bet.