Doubts as to the attractiveness of the position have been raised, with it already looking like a major uphill struggle to beat the drop, and the question of whether top managers would be willing to take on the role has been asked.
“I’m not saying Sunderland doesn’t have its problems,” said Phillips, in quotes published by the Sunderland Echo.
“But blimey, what a wonderful job to take on - I think it’s one of the best in football. And I’m not just saying that because of my connection with the club.
“You only have to look at the size of its support, look at the Stadium of Light and the training facilities, which are world class and look at the potential of the club too if you could really get it buzzing again.
“For me, it has to be seen as a golden opportunity, I don’t agree with the view that it’s some sort of poisoned chalice,” he added.
Big Sam’s imminent appointment looks like being a sensible one and his approach may be just what is needed for Sunderland to turn things around and give themselves a fighting chance of staying up.
The Black Cats’ squad possesses undoubted quality - in attacking areas particularly - and Allardyce’s job will be to harness that while creating a more secure foundation from which to build.