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Rejoice; change is coming! Let’s say goodbye to Sunderland’s miserable season in style on Sunday

The moment we’ve been waiting years for is finally upon us - Sunderland AFC is being sold. Naturally, we implore you to fill the SoL on Sunday and support the Lads.

At first, there was anger and then, there was hope.

The first club statement released on Sunday morning to announce the departure of managerial duo Chris Coleman and Kit Symons set me off in a fit of rage, cursing once again the short-termism and incompetence rifled throughout the club.

Then, merely ten minutes later, all the anger faded as a long unfamiliar emotion came flooding back.

The news that emerged from the club last weekend can be a watershed moment in our recent history. Without getting too carried away, new ownership was the only change that would provide enough impetus and change to stop the rot, to deter the snowballing apathy and failure that has engulfed us for far longer than any of us could have possibly stomached.

First, however, we must show the prospective new owners exactly what they’ll be getting.

Not a rotting husk of a club suffering from back-to-back relegations, but a true sleeping giant with state-of-the-art training and academy facilities, a Premier League home ground and massive fanbase torn apart by years of constant failure and a growing disconnect between those in the stand, within the club and, crucially, on the pitch.

In recent episodes of the Roker Rapport Podcast ex-players such as Martin Smith, Chris Brown and Gordon Armstrong fondly reminisced over making the transition from season ticket holders to representing the Lads on the pitch.

For too long this connection between the fans and players had been eroded at the Stadium of Light - due to the pitfalls of modern football, constant poor results and mismanagement pervading apathy.

It is a narrow gulf. Physically the players are at times less than ten metres away from the fans in the stands but, culturally and emotionally, the pair have been poles apart in recent years.

However, with emerging academy talents allowed to break through due to our current plight, and now a takeover, hope must be what we cling on to in the future.

Crystal Palace v Sunderland - Premier League
Poles apart.
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

This summer the club and whoever is in charge face the reality of a behemoth rebuild against a backdrop of step three football and plummeting finances. Ellis Short may have done the thoroughly decent and classy act of paying off all the club debt, but the American business man was still ploughing roughly £1.5m into the club each month just to stay solvent and cover running costs. Behind the scenes and on the pitch, the task is huge.

That said we can help in the stands, and that begins on Sunday.

Those of you who refuse to go, who cannot bear it anymore or simply cannot afford it, let’s get to the Stadium of Light for the final game of this arduous campaign and get behind the club we love for one last time this season.

You may hate the men still running the club for now, or the names on the backs of some of the shirts on the pitch - but never forget, we are Sunderland AFC. The club and generations of fans will live on. That is the lifeblood of the club.

This will be our turning point, so let’s turn up on Saturday and show this international consortium and Donald Stewart just what they will be investing in.

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