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RELEGATION FALLOUT: All but a few Sunderland first-teamers have already asked to leave the club

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In the wake of the club’s relegation to League One and despite the pending takeover, all but a small handful of Sunderland’s first team squad have asked to leave the club.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Now that the season is officially over and we have transitioned to a League One club, the fallout out from such a dreadful season has begun.

Information reached us before this weekend that all but a small handful of members of the first team squad have already asked to leave the club, though we were asked to refrain from publishing the information until after yesterday’s game.

Although players wanting to leave after yet another relegation is hardly surprising, the sheer number of them who have wasted no time before asking to leave will be both a surprise and a disappointment.

Some of the players who have asked to leave will be saddening, but once the takeover is confirmed and a new manager is appointed, it may be that one or two have a change of heart now the uncertainty surrounding the club has been resolved. Whether they will still be wanted at the club after their commitment to the cause has been called into question remains to be seen.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Though we have been specifically asked not to name names, we can confirm that a trio of players that definitely have NOT asked to leave the club (as yet at least) have played regularly towards the end of the season - including one touted as a future club captain, one that has been in a rich vein of goal-scoring form and a young defender who has proven himself to be more than capable having been given a run of games in the first team.

Although there could well be handful of others that might be convinced to stay, or indeed unable to find another club, the vast majority of the squad not wanting to stay at the club will mean whoever the new manager is - with Chris Wilder appearing to be top of the shortlist - will have an uphill task to start rebuilding for a promotion push next season.

That does, however, mean the new man will have a completely clean slate with which to build his own side and, if we can find buyers for all the want-away players, it will completely solve the issue of our excessive wage bill.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

For a club that has been desperate for a rebuild for many years, this relegation - however hard it is to stomach - may end up being a blessing in disguise.

Not only has it allowed us to become debt-free thanks to a condition of the takeover, but it looks like it will also allow us to finally be rid of the ‘rotten core’ that has plagued the team for many a year.

Hopefully we can start bringing in players who will have pride in the shirt and build a team committed to the cause, rather than having a squad full of overpaid mercenaries, who have Jack Rodwell as their role model.