SUNDERLAND have sacked their manager Jack Ross.

Amid suggestions that a proposed takeover involving an American consortium has collapsed, Black Cats owner Stewart Donald has opted to dismiss Ross with his side currently sitting in sixth position in the League One table.

Donald said: "This is a decision that has been made with a heavy heart. When we arrived at the club 18 months ago, we appointed Jack because we felt that he was the right man to take Sunderland forward over a number of years.

"Jack has worked extremely hard, and has helped us achieve stability at the club, and I sincerely thank him for his efforts. I hope and believe that he will go on to have a successful career in management."

Assistant manager James Fowler has been placed in temporary charge of first-team affairs and will oversee this evening’s Trophy home game with Grimsby Town.

However, Donald will now oversee the process of appointing Ross' long-term successor.