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“We deserve more” - things were meant to get better for Sunderland after relegation...

“Things were supposed to get better for Sunderland after relegation from the Championship - they have not, and we deserve more”, writes Paddy Hollis.

Sheffield United v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Bramall Lane Photo by Dave Howarth/PA Images via Getty Images

It has been just over two years since Chris Coleman departed Sunderland. It was a spell which will be remembered mostly for the club crumbling into the third tier of English football following a disastrous Championship campaign.

The Welshman was appointed in November of that season to pick up the pieces of a horrendous start to the campaign. Sunderland were rock bottom of the Championship table, one win from 17. Coleman had little to work with, and the January transfer window would prove that still further. He had achieved so much with Wales but, like many before him, the Sunderland job would prove to be a poisoned chalice.

Personally, I think Coleman was given far too much criticism during his time at the club. He inherited a squad devoid of any confidence, and with about as much fight, and he needed to turn it around in a division where there is nowhere to hide. He couldn’t keep us up, but to be honest I couldn’t name a manager who would have. A shoestring budget, and a squad patched together with some very poor individual footballers is never a good combination.

I mention Chris Coleman‘s Championship relegation season as the relegation to League One was supposed to be the lowest of the low; the time when we could drag ourselves up from our haunches and say, ‘no more’. It was supposed to be the time when we, as fans, realised that we deserve more. It was the point in the club’s history where the days of it being run into the ground by parasitic players and obsolete owners would finally come to an end. It should have been the wake up call for the hierarchy of the club.

It wasn’t, but for a time, it felt like it. The new owners came in and promised us the earth, and, more importantly, spoke of honesty.

The first few weeks of the season were great. Scoring goals, winning games and players wearing the shirt who looked as though they actually gave a damn, were all so long overdue at the Stadium of Light. We lapped it up, and rightly so. It was a new dawn, and one which couldn’t have looked any better.

Blackpool v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Josh Maja celebrates after he scores the opening goal against Blackpool New Years 2019
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Fast forward to June 2020, and you will find a team on the banks of the River Wear that is continuing to have its heart and soul ripped out. You will see a fan base absolutely sick to the back teeth of being taken for a ride. You will also find a squad which has finished in the lowest league position in the history of Sunderland Association Football Club.

We deserve more

Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven seem hell-bent on dismantling the club from top to bottom. They are out of their depth, and men who have long past caring about anything to do with the fans other than their hard-earned money.

At his first press conference, Charlie Methven uttered the phrase “the pisstaking party stops now.” In reality, the pisstaking party never stopped; only now the fans can see it more clearly. For far too long the club has sleepwalked towards calamity both on and off the pitch.

A third straight season in the third tier suggests that the enlightenment promised to us after relegation from the Championship was nothing but a pipe dream, sold to us by owners who join the long list of people who have well and truly shafted us in recent years.

For now, there is no end in sight, and the dismantling of the academy and selling off any player of worth or with promise leaves Sunderland in a position in which we will look much weaker than before the suspension of football.

Donald and Methven cannot be trusted with our club any more.

For the sake of SAFC, they need to sell up and ship out as soon as possible.

New Sunderland Owner Stewart Donald Press Conference Photo by Sunderland AFC/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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