SO much for German saviours throwing around Euros like confetti then.

And so much for Tony Adams, Wearside film producers and goodness knows who else that might have been rifling through Sunderland’s books in the last few months.

There will be no takeover, no route to financial Nirvana.

Ellis Short remains in charge, pledging to “continue his commitment to the club, both financially and personally.”

Given he attends about two home matches a season, goodness only knows what that is meant to mean.

Short continues to have Sunderland’s destiny in his hands, but if you’re looking for a positive angle, at least today’s developments provided some much-needed clarity with the Black Cats’ opening pre-season game now just seven days away.

Things couldn’t have continued as they were, with Robbie Stockdale performing a caretaker role without any influence over transfer matters that urgently need addressing, and while plenty of supporters appear to be less-than-enamoured by the choice of Simon Grayson as manager, it’s hard to see where else chief executive Martin Bain could have turned.

Let’s be honest, if the Aberdeen boss can’t be persuaded to swap the battle for second place in the SPL for the Stadium of Light, on a double-your-money contract, then you’re going to struggle to attract the kind of manager that might have got pulses racing.

Grayson is a solid enough appointment, with his track record at Blackpool, Leeds, Huddersfield and Preston reflecting an ability to extract a fairly decent return from unappealing raw materials. He knows how the Football League works, and knows the type of player required to win promotion from the Championship.

The Northern Echo:  

He disappointed at Huddersfield, having won promotion from League One with Leeds, but overachieved last season as he led Preston to a top-half Championship finish after taking them into the second tier. Sunderland are a much bigger club than Preston, so it is hardly inconceivable to imagine him finishing much higher than 11th next May.

Yet in many ways, the identity of Sunderland’s next manager – which will be their eighth in a little over four years – is an irrelevance. The club’s problems run much deeper than that, and are unlikely to be adequately addressed in the wake of Short’s decision to retain 100 per cent control.

Today’s statement claimed a proposed sale was “not in the best interests of Sunderland AFC”. That is almost certainly a favourable slant on things. A more realistic assessment might be that the sale was ‘not in the best interests of Ellis Short’, and had the German consortium been able to satisfy the Sunderland owner’s financial demands, it is naïve to assume he would have spent too long pondering the long-term ramifications of a sale.

Short is a businessman, and his business demands were not met. So we continue with the same loveless relationship that proved so damaging last season. Like a homeowner living in a house with a hole in the roof because he has spent so much money trying to fit a new kitchen, Short is unwilling to continue throwing good money after bad.

Having invested more than £200m since he was persuaded to buy out Niall Quinn’s Drumaville consortium, Short finds himself presiding over a Championship club with more than £110m of debt. He knows he has no chance of recouping his investment – as this month’s talks have proved, he’ll be lucky to walk away with even a third of what he has spent – so the fear has to be that he will keep Sunderland on life support for the remainder of his reign, but nothing more.

The Northern Echo:

He can’t allow Sunderland to fail and enter administration, otherwise he risks losing everything. But speculate to accumulate by underwriting more debt in an attempt to return to the Premier League? That ship sailed a long time ago.

The sale of Jordan Pickford to Everton brought in £30m, but even with a parachute payment of around £45m, Sunderland still stand to lose £40m-or-so as a result of their demotion to the Championship.

The Pickford money leaves a £10m black hole, which might well be filled by the sale of Lamine Kone. Say Wahbi Khazri, Jeremain Lens and Didier Ndong leave after that. That might bring in another £15m-or-so, but would Short make that money available to Grayson or use it to bring down the current debt, potentially making a sale more likely in another six months or so?

The business answer is obvious, but that will do little to help Sunderland’s current situation as they look to rebuild a squad that lost its 13th senior player yesterday when Jermain Defoe completed his move to Bournemouth.

What, realistically, will Grayson be able to spend this summer? Given the need to sign up to a dozen new players, £30m is surely a minimum requirement, but in the wake of yesterday’s developments, is that really a likely scenario?

Only Short knows the answer to that, although Grayson will presumably ask the question when he sits down to talk terms with Bain tonight.

The short-term situation is a worry, with the start of the Championship season now little more than a month away, but the state of Sunderland’s medium-to-long term planning is equally alarming.

So much at the club is in need of repair, but is there the will or resources to adequately address the situation? As well as losing Moyes since the end of last season, Sunderland have also waved goodbye to their chief football officer, chief scout and assistant manager.

Grayson will appoint his own coaching staff, but there is a chronic lack of strategic leadership to work alongside Bain. Who is in charge of Sunderland’s transfer policy? Who is overseeing the work of the academy? Who is coming up with plans and policies to ensure the crippling mistakes of the past are not repeated?

A new regime would have been forced to address those issues. Short, with his eye on the exit door a year or so down the line, might opt to shelve difficult and potentially expensive decisions in an attempt to muddle through.

That is an unappetising scenario from a Sunderland perspective, but so much of the current situation at the Stadium of Light is unappealing. Grayson clearly thinks he can make a success of things, only time will tell whether he is proved correct.