Monsieur Salut writes: this is obviously the grimmest evening, in footballing terms, since Salut! Sunderland was created back at the beginning of 2007 (a promotion season under Keano). We’ll all have more to say and we’ll all, by and large, go on supporting our club. Here are some immediate thoughts …
It took me several looks at the bottom of the table, and at the remaining fixtures, before I finally accepted that there was no longer any permutation that could, however remote the thought, keep Sunderland up.
The stark reality is that there can have been few more deserved relegations in the history of English football. Most of the other contenders for that description involved us, too.
My thoughts tonight are not with the players, who have with precious few exceptions – demand a pay rise, Paddy McNair – reduced a great club to the parlous state in which it now finds itself.
I will never condemm a player of limited ability who does his utmost to perform as well as his skills allow; I denounce the overpaid scallywags who will doubtless be out enjoying themselves (away from Sunderland-supporting bits of the North East maybe), knowing they have plenty of loot stashed away and can happily wait for something else to crop up.
When they have departed, we’ll still be here. Sunderland AFC – the club, the history, the passion – are bigger and better than them. And bigger and better than our absent owner, Ellis Short, so shamefully silent for a man who has the gall to accuse those he is silent to of getting their facts wrong.
I will post another piece in the next day or so; it was offered to and duly commissioned by The National, the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper which I helped to create and for which I still regularly write. It cn appear here once it is showing on The National‘s website.
But now that the deed is done, quicker than some of us thought (I expected defeat at Fulham next Friday to be the clincher), please remember my invitation to valued readers: write your end-of-season review and I shall ensure it is published with or without editing to conform to this site’s style, maintain decency and avoid breaching the laws of defamation.
Leave a comment below if you want to have your say and I shall contact you by e-mail.
And on this latest bleak night for Sunderland fans the world over, I leave you with a few of the tweets posted by our fellow supporters (and one Burton fan). I wanted to embed the tweets but that doesn’t seem to be working, so it’s a rough and ready bodge …
Kevin Maguire: it was the hope we couldn’t stand so relegation puts Sunderland fans out of our misery. Here we come Fleetwood, Doncaster, Bristol Rovers, Bradford, Gillingham and, hopefully, Wimbledon
Craig Clark: Burton are the worst team we’ve played this season and they deserve to beat us. What a meek pathetic surrender. Sackless bastards. I hope none of them are here next season and Coleman can go for all I care.
Mobile Mackem: judging by the reaction, Sunderland being relegated is the most success Newcastle have had in decades.
Bekah: always lovely to have your players speed towards the tunnel after you’ve just been relegated for the second time in a row. That’s without even acknowledging the fans – no clapping, not even a shrug of the shoulders. Just nothing. Absolute disgrace.
Joshua Murray, Burton fan: tough for Sunderland. Hard to believe this brilliant ground and huge club will be in League One next season. Clough says he’s very, very sad for Chris, the club and the supporters – and that he hopes Coleman is given time to rebuild