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Roy Keane Quits as Sunderland Manager
    2008-12-04 22:47:41     Xinhua

Sunderland have confirmed that manager Roy Keane has left the club.

The Irishman held crisis talks with the club's board on Thursday morning after which it was decided the two parties would go their separate ways.

Keane, who was appointed in August 2006, leaves with the Wearsiders in the Premier League relegation zone after a dismal set of results.

The 37-year-old was appointed manager at the Stadium of Light in August 2006 and has been given unprecedented financial backing by the club's board.

He led Sunderland into the Premier League in his first season in charge while his debut year in the top flight resulted in a 15th-placed finish.

Keane then embarked on another summer of heavy spending with the likes of Djibril Cisse, Anton Ferdinand, El-Hadji Diouf, Pascal Chimbonda and Steed Malbranque arriving on Wearside, the Press Association said.

But the new additions have failed to gel and the situation came to a head in Saturday's dismal 4-1 home thumping by Bolton.

Afterwards Keane admitted he was starting to doubt his suitability for the post.

He said in the post-match press conference: "I ask myself every single day if I am the right man for Sunderland. I asked myself this morning and I said that I was. Tomorrow morning if the answer's no we will have to look at it.

"I have to be honest in my assessment. It's not about what's best for Roy Keane. It's Sunderland Football Club. I might wake up on Monday morning and think I'm the right man. On Tuesday it might be different."

His contract was due to expire at the end of the season with talks over a new deal reportedly ongoing.

Keane decided the time had come to stand down, and the decision was reached by amicable agreement.

First-team coach Ricky Sbragia will take over team affairs on an interim basis, assisted by reserve-team coach Neil Bailey and senior player Dwight Yorke.

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn said: "First of all on behalf of everyone here I would like to pay thanks to Roy Keane for all his hard work in progressing this club, lifting its status and growing its worldwide profile.

"Roy deserves huge respect for his contribution and the manner in which he guided the club from the depths of the Championship back to the Premier League. His winning mentality and single-mindedness were just what this club needed when Drumaville took over shortly before his arrival.

"Roy's decision to stand aside and allow someone else to take charge of the next chapter sums up his desire to always do what is best for the club. Even in his departure he has been more concerned for the welfare of the players and his staff than himself.

"The board has reluctantly accepted his decision and wish him and his family well for the future."

Keane added: "I would like to thank my staff, players, Niall Quinn and in particular the fans for their support during my time at Sunderland, and I would like to wish the club every success in the future."



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