Sunderland chairman Ellis Short had his doubts about sacked manager Martin O'Neill over a month ago, it has been revealed.
Short, 52, reacted with anger after the Black Cats' defeat at QPR last month and had told pals his cash had been wasted on a string of flop buys, says The Sun.
He was also furious with O'Neill for failing to show up at training until Thursday last week and believed the Ulsterman had lost the support of the players.
O'Neill gave Short assurances he would do everything in his power to rally his troops following the draw with Norwich City.
So the hedge-fund tycoon was furious to learn that the man he trusted had spent the international week away from the training ground, only reporting back for duty on Thursday.