Roy Keane delivers a damning verdict on the Sunderland hierarchy

The Manchester United legend feels those behind the scenes have a lot to answer for.

Former Sunderland manager Roy Keane has weighed in on the club’s current situation - in quotes published by the Sunderland Echo - and criticised the hierarchy in the process.

The Republic of Ireland assistant manager was in charge at the Stadium of Light from 2006 to 2008, whereby a souring of the relationship between him and chairman Ellis Short brought about an early end to his tenure.

When asked whether he was surprised by Dick Advocaat’s departure, Keane replied:

“No… It’s Sunderland, isn’t it? It’s a brilliant club, but I don’t know, I really can’t comment on why different managers have left or have been sacked

“But people in the background probably need to have a good look at themselves.”

The Black Cats now begin their search for their seventh permanent manager since Keane’s departure and the Irishman’s damning assessment of the running of the club is sure to hit close to home.

Sunderland have stagnated in recent years and have failed to build on their narrow escapes from relegation with sensible, effective investment in the squad.

This season is shaping up to be one of their toughest yet and their prospects of avoiding the drop appear bleak at present.

An initial buzz may arrive along with their next managerial appointment and results may start to pick up but the underlying issues will remain the same.

A drastic overhaul of the squad is required, with a clear strategy needed in the transfer market if a perennial relegation dogfight is to ever be avoided.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch