By Mark Wyatt
Last week Welsh football fans heard the news that they had been dreading.
Chris Coleman, the man who has been at the helm for the most successful period of Welsh football, had resigned and taken a job with Sunderland AFC.
The decision came after lengthy (and very public) contract disputes between Coleman and FA Wales.
It’s understood that after his last match against Panama (a disappointing 1-1 draw in Cardiff) Coleman revealed he had been offered a job at club level, which he had been openly looking for for a long time.
Ultimately the decision came down to money, of which the FAW couldn’t come up with enough.
Sunderland offered Coleman a pay package of £1m a year, an amount that the five-man executive panel tasked with keeping him couldn’t match.
In the back of his mind Coleman must have thought he had gone as far as he could with Wales though, reaching the semi-finals of Wales’ maiden European Championships in 2016 would be a tall order to replicate.
Once it was finalised that Wales would not be playing at the World Cup in Russia there were widespread campaigns from fans and public comments from players urging Coleman to stay in his position.
But alas the allure of club football and a return to day-to-day management proved too much and he departed for the North-East last week, leaving a giant hole to fill at the helm of Welsh football.