Welcome: Beale appointed Head Coach

Sunderland AFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Michael Beale as the Club’s new Head Coach.


Beale has signed a contract until summer 2026 at the Stadium of Light and started his role on Monday, returning to coaching two months after leaving Rangers Football Club.


After an exceptional spell leading the first team on an interim basis, Mike Dodds has taken the next step on his pathway and been promoted to the role of Assistant Head Coach.


Michael Proctor and Alessandro Barcherini will continue in their respective roles, as the Club strives to build beyond the foundations established throughout the past two-and-a-half seasons.


Beale’s career started with an immensely successful 15-year tenure in the academies of Chelsea and Liverpool where he contributed to the development of a host of elite talents, including Declan Rice, Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold.


After leaving his mark on many of the players currently shaping the identity of the Premier League and England’s national team, he undertook assistant roles at São Paulo, Rangers and Aston Villa before being appointed manager of Queens Park Rangers in June 2022.


A 10-month tenure in Scotland followed for Beale, who guided Rangers to the 2023 Scottish League Cup final and departed Ibrox Stadium with the highest top-flight win percentage (77.42%) in the Club’s history.


Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman said: “We have monitored Michael’s career for some time and we are delighted to have reached an agreement for him to become our new Head Coach. He has an excellent and well-founded reputation for developing players and he is an outstanding progressive coach, who is aligned with our playing identity and naturally fits within our structure alongside Mike Dodds and the wider team. We continue to trust in our established process of identifying the right candidates to take us forward at these junctures and although Michael has had a setback, we feel we are getting him at the right time in his coaching journey and our journey as a Club.”


Beale added: “It’s a huge honour to be joining the Sunderland family and I would like to thank Kyril, Kristjaan and the rest of the Executive Team for the faith and responsibility they have placed in me. The existing coaching team deserve huge credit for the way they navigated the interim period and like all of the staff at the Club, they will continue to be vitally important moving forward alongside the incredible fans that make SAFC such an historic and unique Club. It’s clear there is some excellent work being done at senior and academy level and I’m excited to support those efforts and implement my own ideas, as we build on the strong identity already established within the Club.”


Kyril Louis-Dreyfus concluded: “I’m thrilled to welcome Michael to our Club and wish him every success here at the Stadium of Light. Throughout our discussions, it was clear that he shares our ideals on implementing a high-performance culture and he is committed to a playing style that we feel is central to our progress. I would also like to place on record my gratitude to Mike Dodds and our coaching team for not only leading us through the interim period, but for adopting a bold and creative approach that inspired memorable back-to-back wins. Alongside Michael, I truly believe our people will continue to drive the Club forward as we enter 2024 with renewed energy, excitement and optimism.”

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