The sacking of Jack Ross by Sunderland this week may have caused a cold sweat to break out among some of Scottish football’s current managerial fraternity.
While his 18-month tenure at the Stadium of Light has ultimately been judged as a failure by Sunderland, who remain in the third tier of English football, Ross returns to the job market with his reputation far from irreparably damaged. The 43-year-old certainly still has plenty of credit in the bank north of the Border where his work at both Alloa Athletic and St Mirren was impressive and widely admired. Ross will be regarded as a leading candidate for most vacancies which may occur in the Scottish Premiership over the coming weeks and months.
In the minds of some club directors, his availability on an out-of-contract basis could also accelerate any considerations they are having over the positions of their current managers. With a win ratio of more than 50 per cent at both St Mirren and Sunderland, Ross remains an ideal fit for many of those clubs whose fans are deeply dissatisfied by their starts to the current season. By this stage last year, there had been three managerial changes in the Premiership with Kenny Miller, Alan Stubbs and Neil McCann exiting Livingston, St Mirren and Dundee.
Premiership clubs have been less trigger-happy this year with no sackings so far. But the presence of Ross might set off a few itchy fingers in boardrooms.