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Is it possible to base our expectations for this season on the 2006/07 campaign?

For better or for worse, and for all intents and purposes, we're witnessing history repeat itself on Wearside.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

We've been here before, haven't we? Sunderland have just been relegated after spending the entirety of last season as the Premier League's basement boys; the ownership of the club exists amid unsettling uncertainty as a new owner and manager are ambiguous, yet anticipated; there's little-to-no money available to spend on a squad that requires nothing short of a dramatic overhaul - oh, and we're playing Bury in the cup again too.

This isn't our first acquaintance with such a situation. In that last paragraph I could've been describing either the season we're entering now or recounting a seemingly identical relegation of yesteryear - the 2006/07 season.

Both seasons have a striking similarity so far, so could it be true that they'll have identical conclusions too? Could we surge to the summit of the Championship once again, just as we did when our campaign was spearheaded by the advent of Niall Quinn and the Drumaville consortium?

Well, I'd hate for my sense of realism to masquerade as pessimism, but we shouldn't get our hopes up. I'm not saying history can't repeat itself, but a lot has changed since our last ejection from the top-flight - and for that reason there's a lot more to take into consideration.

One reason why it could be presumed possible that we're able bounce back against the odds is the fact that whilst the club has very little to splash out on new acquisitions - we spent very little back in 06/07 and look where we ended up.

Niall Quinn and Roy Keane spent a total of £6.9 million between them in the summer window on the likes of David Connolly, Tobias Hysen and Ross Wallace to name a few - with the rest of the new recruits joining on free transfers.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Premier League
Keane invigorated a rag-tag squad and led them to the title.
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

The problem here is that what we spent way back then is only 'very little' in comparison to now. The hyperinflation of transfer fees isn't an alarming gain of financial momentum that has remained particular to the Premier League - it's very much prevalent in the Championship too.

We're no longer part of a second tier which can guarantee you a squad of competent players on the shoestring budget of six or seven million. No, this is a division which - much like it's big brother - maintains that succeeding is largely synonymous with spending.

The likes of Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Derby - all clubs around the same size as ours - haven't had any issues in loosening their purse strings, and have thrown sums of ten and twelve million on the likes of Ross McCormack, Jordan Rhodes and Matt Ritchie.

We won’t be able to hurl money around as easily as that lot even if we do look to have more at our disposal than we did during our last relegation. So perhaps this isn't where we should look to find our good omen.

Whoever takes the manager’s job needs to overhaul the squad - despite a lack of resources with which to do so. Clearly, the gaffer-to-be will have to be someone who has more about them than knowledge of the stats and the odds if we want this club to succeed.

Hence why David Moyes with all his staunch realism, and the pseudo-nobility that entailed, scuttled straight out the door once Ellis Short told him how little he'd be given to rebuild this summer.

Derby County v Sheffield Wednesday- Sky Bet Championship
The man for the job?
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

We need someone with a passion for the club, someone whose faith will transcend their rationality. If our already limited supply of money is to diminish further, then we require a manager who will graft purely for the sake of the club, despite its shortcomings.

Call it fantasy or blind faith, but I'd just love to see Kevin Phillips get the job. He's unproven, ambitious, and well-acquainted with Wearside.

The Drumaville consortium oversaw two appointments cut from the same cloth as the one we weave Phillips in - Niall Quinn and Roy Keane. As we know, one took to second-tier management like a fish to water, whilst the other simply floundered. So perhaps this is neither a hopeful prophecy, nor is it an ill omen.

Emulation of the 2006/07 season is possible, but the possibility of such events transpiring is a lot less conceivable what they once were. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see.

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