Former Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy has spilled the beans on what really happened when he was previously linked with a return to the Black Cats as the club’s manager back in 2018 during an episode of the What The Falk Podcast.
McCarthy of course is no stranger to the dugout at the Stadium of Light, with the former Wolves boss having managed the North East club between 2003 and 2006 as they succumbed to relegation to the Championship before eventually returning to the top tier as champions during the 2004/05 season.
However the current APOEL boss was quick to pour cold water on the rumours that he was close to returning to the club for a second spell over two years ago, as he detailed the events that brought about that particular story:
“That story all came about because Dave Bowman, my pal who lives in Washington, had a BMW and I said ‘I’ll buy that off you’.
“His lease was up so I said I’ll buy it.
“I got the train to come up and bring the car the day after Chris Coleman had been sacked – but this was completely unattached to me coming to pick this car up.
“I got on the train, there’s only me on it and a guy emptying the bins. He sees me, does a double take and he came back again and did something, and says ‘you’re Mick McCarthy, aren’t you?’.
“I said ‘I am, how are you doing?’ and he said ‘you’re going for the Sunderland job, aren’t you?’.
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“I said ‘no, I’m not.’
“Then I go up to the BMW garage where we used to get our cars from, and me and Dave go for lunch next door, and it’s all over the place.
“I can’t help it that they’d sacked Chris Coleman the day before. It went mad, but nobody had ever asked me to come back.
“I came up to pick a car up and caused a real stink.”
Since leaving Sunderland back in 2006, McCarthy has gone onto manage the likes of Wolves, Ipswich Town and the Republic of Ireland in a managerial career that has spanned almost three decades.
The 61-year-old Barnsley born boss is now into the first year of a new two year contract with APOEL in Cyprus – the country’s most successful and most renowned side.
Seeing McCarthy and Stewart Donald link up at Sunderland would’ve made for entertaining viewing, however I believe this is a link that will no doubt be made again by the media in years to come, particularly given the pedigree of the former Black Cats boss and his history with the club.
He now seems set to carve out a career for himself on the continent and I for one am intrigued to see how he gets on at such a largely unknown level of the game.
Given his history with the sport in England, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he made a return to these shores in the years to come, as his hunger for football shows no signs of dwindling.
For now, Sunderland and McCarthy will continue to go their separate ways, but don’t be shocked if this rumour rears it’s head once more if Phil Parkinson is given his marching orders by the powers that be.