Dear Roker Report,
I’m looking forward to our season in League One and hope we smash all records. Sunderland is by far the biggest club in that division and we should play with the confidence and swagger that brings.
We (subject to EFL approval) have a new regime in place and a clean slate financially thanks to Mr Short’s parting gesture. We also have a core of talented young players around which the new manager should be able to build a team fit for League One and promotion back into the Championship.
Team building will be financed in part by the sale of existing first team players and those on the fringe who feel they are too good to wear red and white in League One.
All things we know - but here’s the rub.
The new chairman likes to run a club debt free and that’s no bad thing. He will be able to steer is into the championship next season based on the above. Who knows, with a little momentum and the habit of winning games we might even be pushing the playoffs the season after.
BUT - what then?
My concern is that with the new ownership comes a reset of expectation.
Do they have the resources to push the club back into the Premier League?
If we are promoted we get access to Premier League money but only at the end of the season. This means we will have the challenge of building a Premier League team out of a League One outfit with minimal expenditure if we are to remain in the black.
Without the resource to build a team capable of at least mid table status we could become a perpetual yo-yo team or worse.
So - with new owners that are well meaning but (from reports so far) not as well resourced as many Premier League setups are we destined to become a well run team best suited to life in the Championship with limited scope for a return to the top table?
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Until Stewart Donald has the deal ratified and can tell fans what his plans for our future are, it really is pointless speculating. What I will say is that I think Donald is worth a lot more money than people perhaps think, and that there’s a plan in place with the team that are behind him that could set us up to be a very successful club in the future.
Short term though it’s about laying some groundwork, appointing a good manager, investing in the squad and making sure we get out of the third tier at the first time of asking.
Dear Roker Report,
We should build the team around the kids.
After all, when we send them out for experience this is the division they usually go to - if we can add a couple of experienced players, plus Duncan Watmore once he’s back fit, we should be okay.
Now they’ve got the taste for what it’s like to be a first-teamer they will give 100% minimum. Give them all a start - its not as if they’ve not played together. Then, after 4 or 5 games, adjust to suit. Don’t go down the road of signing journeymen, has-beens and mercenaries - that’s what we have now, and look where we are.
Clean start required. Onwards and upwards!
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I think it’s a tough one. It depends on the budget that the next manager has available to them - if they’ve got a decent sized kitty, we should be signing good players that we know are capable of getting us out of this league.
Of course, though, we must supplement what they can offer with some of the academy lads. In the past we’ve cast aside young hopefuls in favour of players that just haven’t improved us, and I think that going forward that needs to change. For instance, what would be the point in signing a backup left back when we have Denver Hume waiting in the wings?
There’ll be loads of games to play next season and we have to ensure the squad is big enough and, most crucially, robust enough to deal with it. We can’t be signing players that are going to miss every other game - it’s about recruiting the right type of characters, with the right mentality to succeed and progress at a club as big as ours.
Fingers crossed everything works out for the best.