MARTIN BAIN claims Sunderland owner Ellis Short was heavily involved in Chris Coleman’s appointment as manager, and is “excited” by the prospect of the former Wales boss succeeding at the Stadium of Light.

Short remains in charge of the Black Cats even though he is keen to sell his 100 per cent stake in the club, but now spends most of his time in the United States after relocating with his family earlier this year.

He has not attended a single Sunderland game this season, but used a recent interview with the club’s official website to reaffirm his commitment.

He has held regular discussions with Bain in the last two weeks, and supported the Scotsman’s decision to pursue Coleman once it became clear he was leaving his former position in charge of Wales.

Sunderland’s new manager accepts there will not be much money to spend when the transfer window reopens in January, but Bain claims Short’s reluctance to increase current debt levels should not be interpreted as a lack of interest or support.

“As I have said in recent weeks, he (Short) continues to fund shortfalls,” said the Black Cats chief executive. “He is as desperate as anyone for the club to turn around and move forward.

“Is he excited by Chris’ appointment? Yes. Fundamentally, without going over old ground, we really do feel that Chris fits the bill and the profile.

“In terms of Ellis going forward and things we need to address, we will have that dialogue and of course Ellis is excited. He still sees opportunity in this football club, and is fairly dismayed and distraught we are where we are.”

Bain was criticised for taking more than a fortnight to appoint Simon Grayson, having embarked on a length recruitment process that saw him assess a large number of potential candidates.

Michael O’Neill and Paul Heckingbottom were both regarded as strong contenders, with Bain also considering the credentials of Aitor Karanka and speaking to Ally McCoist, but the Scotsman insists he did not offer the job to anyone before approaching Coleman.

He was delighted when the 47-year-old agreed to success Grayson, but insists he was always confident of being able to attract a manager with a proven pedigree.

“I was delighted to get Chris,” he said. “There were no promises, no stiff expectations, just a realisation of the challenges we face. But there’s also a lot of opportunity, and a lot of things where we can shoot forward and make the place different.

“I’ve got belief that when you’re representing the football club and all we have to offer, then it’s attractive. It was a delighted to attract Chris, but not a shock.

“There’s a long-term belief that we can get the club back to where it belongs. We’re both well aware of the responsibilities we have despite all the negativity the club has had in recent times. It’s a massive opportunity, with lots of positives.”