Dear Roker Report,
I’m just writing in to give a word of warning to West Brom, Stoke City and Swansea fans.
Look at the state of Sunderland - it could happen to you!
No, honestly, it could. Don’t think for once second that the Championship will be a cake-walk, because it won’t. You’ve both been out of the Football League for a decent length of time, and 95% of the players you’ve got are probably utter mercenaries.
You just want to hope the money you get back from player sales doesn’t go to servicing your debt like ours did - there’s nothing more heart-wrenching than seeing a player leave for £30m only for every penny of it to go towards paying bank loans and legacy payments on the sh*te you bought in the years previous.
Also, selecting your next manager is important. Don’t be fooled into taking a numpty on like we did, like Grayson, cos it’ll be disastrous - 9 times out of 10 the job is too big for them and they struggle.
All I’ll say is just completely lower your expectations and if you manage to achieve a comfortable mid-table season you should be content. Unless you go down and spend a fortune like Boro and Newcastle, you haven’t a hope in hell’s chance.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Ha - I think Sunderland have been an extreme case this season, but much of what you’ve said has truth to it and fans of WBA, Stoke and Swansea do need to be wary upon relegation.
The Championship, like the Premier League, has became very much about wealth and unless teams drop down with a decent transfer budget its hard to see how they re-shape to the level required to bounce back at the first time of asking.
Cardiff City are a one-off in my eyes - Neil Warnock is a promotion master. Perhaps the best chance any of those three sides have is to try and tempt him away from South Wales in the summer!
Dear Roker Report,
I have to say this is the first time in god knows how many seasons when Sunderland have finished a season with a win. This one simple act gives me some hope that Sunderland want to bounce back quickly. In the past, when Sunderland’s fate was secure the team gave up and had an end of season whimper, which always bode unwell psychologically for the future.
Shame you had to dent Wolves’ party, but they probably don’t care. The problem for Wolves is that they’re falling into the same trap as Sunderland have before. It’s a result, which shows Wolves didn’t really care at the end. Job done, no point turning it on against Sunderland. Really, not good. Slight question mark over Nuno Espirito Santo.
Credit to Sunderland then. Season f*cked, but they turned it on. Sunderland need to turn it on for a lot of League 1 games now.
All the best! Want to see you back in the Championship next year.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Thanks Andrew. I’ve got no idea who you support, but it’s interesting that you keep a keen interest in Sunderland and always comment on our articles - get back in touch to let us know why that is!
You’re right though, that final game created some good feeling that should hopefully carry through into the new season. Add to that the excitement of (hopefully) having a new owner, a new manager and new players and I think most Sunderland supporters will only look forward to a season in League One.
We’ve got to - we’ve got to try and move forward together now. And despite the slight embarrassment that comes with relegation to the third tier, we have to take the positives - new away grounds, the potential for more wins, more goals, and ushering in a new era.
I’m optimistic and I hope others feel the same way!