I am absolutely wounded.
I left the ground today and didn’t really feel anything, actually - I was a bit numb, not really phased by the fact that we had been demoted, but more just eager to get back to the car and hear what people were saying on the radio after the game.
The evening has slowly wore on though and eventually it just hit me - we’re relegated.
I think I can deal with being a League One club. I understand it’s embarrassing and a real kick in the guts but once the dust settles and changes are being made it’ll feel like a fresh start, and as a fan who travels home and away it’ll be a nice change visiting loads of grounds I’ve never been to. I actually don’t think it’ll be a disaster, and that we’ll fare loads better there than we have this season, but it’s not that what’s hurting.
It’s the fact that we’ve all sat back and not been able to do anything about it.
Ellis Short has resided comfortably at home in the USA in recent months whilst those that actually love Sunderland have worried day after day about the direction our club is taking - a relegation that many of us telegraphed all the way back in September.
At least when Bob Murray and Tom Cowie were in charge they were answerable to questions from supporters - Sunderland’s current owner answers to nobody, and there’s absolutely nothing we can do change that.
I do wonder how Ellis Short is feeling today. I hope he’s fucking miserable, because I am. I’m miserable because I’ve had to watch on as the rot caused by his neglect has set in - I’ve spent money I haven’t got travelling around to watch this team play because I love them.
Ellis Short doesn’t deserve Sunderland AFC and I rue the day he stepped foot in the Stadium of Light for the first time. He’s a cretin - a coward that has allowed this unbelievable decline to happen simply because he got bored of his play-thing.
And that’s all we’ve ever been to him - the toy of a rich American billionaire who has realised that his mistakes are causing him to hemorrhage money.
You cannot run a football club from thousands of miles away. You’re either in this day after day or you simply cannot be successful - that’s a fact. The minute you start trusting other people with your money you’re in for a pretty big fall, and that’s where Ellis Short went wrong with Sunderland. I hope prospective new owners understand this - you MUST be committed, or this will not work.
But even still, that doesn’t excuse Short’s neglect of the last two years. Sunderland could have competed this season with even a small investment of cash on his part and instead he pulled down the shutters and refused to stump it up. In January, when we had a chance, he again refused to part with the money needed to strengthen Chris Coleman’s squad - a small price to pay when you consider just how much our value must have dropped since the day we left the Premier League behind.
But that matters not a lot now - the reality is that we’ve been relegated, and next season we will begin life as a third tier club for only the second time in our history.
Sunderland AFC will never be defined by one person or thing - this club is the fans, and don’t ever let anyone suggest otherwise. We will not die and this man will not be here forever.
Be proud of who you are and what we are - take the incessant ribbing on the chin and move on, safe in the knowledge that it won’t always be like this and that our beautiful football club will not be defined by this owner, those players or anyone else.
It’s cheesy and it’s cliché but it’s true - we are Sunderland ‘til we die, and every single time you sing those words you mean it. Fuck Ellis Short.