JEREMY CROSS COLUMN: Byrne had to leave Sunderland, Benitez’s huge change, is Costa mad?

Despite Short being nowhere to be seen, and the club being dragged through the mud, Byrne cut lines of communication with the most important people of all – the supporters.

She was reluctant to do interviews and in the final few weeks of her doomed reign, didn’t even write a piece in the club’s match programmes.

Byrne was supposed to be the link between what is going on at the club and the man in the street.

Now Short needs to man-up, raise his head above the parapet and take some responsibility for this dreadful mess – because now the buck stops with him.

It was Byrne, of course, who oversaw the Paulo Di Canio shambles, when the fascist storm that blew in with his arrival as boss in 2013 raised huge question marks about not just his appointment but the subsequent crisis management at the club.

She underestimated the issue, thought it would blow over and when it didn’t, gave the green light to a club statement that just made it worse.

Despite Di Canio expressing fascist leanings in the past, Byrne labelled the Italian’s accusers of being insulting to him and the integrity of the football club.

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