clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The diary of a Sunderland Fan: #1 - It's the hope I can't stand

It's really not helping my mental state not knowing what is going on with Sunderland at the minute. I know that I should probably be patient and wait it out to see what happens, but I can't.

Roker Park
Waiting.... and waiting.... and waiting...
Getty Images

I argued with a friend yesterday about this German Consortium that are supposedly buying our club. He probably won't mind me saying this but he's a bit of a happy-clapper - like I perhaps once was before I started running a fan site and became cynical about everything - and he couldn't understand why I seemed so beleaguered by the fact our club might be on the cusp of a much-needed ownership change.

I can't switch off from thinking about the worst case scenarios; the snowball effect that such a catastrophic relegation from the Premier League could perhaps have on our future. Potentially inheriting new owners that are just as bad as or worse than Ellis Short. Barely having a squad capable enough of winning a game of football. Out of contract players sat in limbo, waiting to hear what their futures hold. Starting pre-season training in around a week without having a manager in place.

It's an ingrained pessimism that I honestly never thought that I'd have as a supporter of this club. I used to constantly bang that 'keep the faith' drum because, ultimately, it never mattered how bad things were to me - we always seemed to come back out on top and all that I could do was get behind the team and show my support in whichever way that I could.

But then something changed. Worn down by the weariness of supporting a team that loses all of the time and doesn't show even the slightest hint that progression might occur, I've stopped looking at things objectively and with hope.

Instead, I just worry incessantly about becoming the next Charlton, or Leeds, or Blackburn, or Portsmouth. The churn of clubs since we were last in the Championship that have been through the Premier League revolving door only to be spat back out in worse shape fills me with dread. Even the happiest of clappers must worry about what all of this uncertainty is going to lead to.

You only have to look back ten years or so ago to see the last time we found ourselves in this exact same situation - managerless, going through an ownership change and with no clear plan in place ahead of the Championship season.

We looked fucked. The club was sold by Bob Murray after Niall Quinn hurriedly cobbled together a consortium of wealthy business owners and he desperately attempted to coax decent managers to the club to no avail. And with no gaffer in place we struggled to attract quality players to the club, started the season in the worst imaginable fashion and had someone completely out of their depth in charge of the team.

Then everything just came together, the stars aligned, Roy Keane arrived and all was well in the world. Football can be funny like that, but it's important to not lean too much on what we did a decade ago - what Sunderland do now is most important. The speed of which we reach a conclusion with all of this is paramount to how this club operates in the next ten years - leave it too late and it will feel like all of my fears are becoming true.

Does anyone else reading this feel the same? Like the club have completely sucked and drained every single last drop of faith and optimism from you to the point that even the thought of replacing the owner you resent with every ounce of your being fills you with despair?

It's the hope I can't stand.

And as cliched as that sounds, it feels like that statement has never been more true than it is right now.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report