Monsieur Salut keeps his promise (threat?) to repeat the obvious poll as developments present themselves. You can check the results for yourselves but as the number of votes cast reached 600, we were just above 82 per cent not just wanting but believing in promotion …
Salut! Sunderland’s associate editor John McCormick has already bagged naming rights should Jack Ross – could a Sunderland manager be blessed with a better moniker? – restore the tradition of post-match managerial e-mails. They shall be called Ross on Why, and wye not?
When the poll first appeared, it had the same question but our owner was still Ellis Short and no one voting had a clear idea of how questions of succession and managership would be answered.
Amid that uncertainty, the early response was understandably slow. But even then, readers sensed change was afoot and voted encouragingly in favour of an immediate promotion back to the Championship being likely.
There was, at first, a surge of optimism – yes, we’ll go up as champions – tempered by a strong minority vote for no promotion at all and a stubborn pessimist faction fearing another relegation battle. That changed but most still seemed to think we’d be promoted one way or the other.
Now we have new owners. We have a manager who has succeeded in Scotland. the hope we cannot stand has returned.
And as I write, the effect on supporters’ expectations has been profound. In place of keep-the-faith loyalty – loosely translated as “of course we’ll go up – won’t we?” – there is genuine belief. Pete Sixsmith has eloquently explained why that may be the case: click this phrase.
The vote now stands – again, as I write – at nearly 82 per cent believing promotion is on. More than half of those thinking that way (43 per cent of the total 510 votes cast) say we will win the League One title. Only 14 per cent fear we won’t go up and under four per cent now expect a fight to avoid League Two.
Only two people have entered responses of their own: “no idea, ask me again in late July” and “too early to call”. That is hardly surprising, though the original question remains the same and asks only for a gut feeling.
Call it blind faith if you will but for the overwhelming majority – and this is a notion supported by casual scrutiny of SAFC supporters’ social media posts elsewhere – we might just be on the brink of a new and uplifting Sunderland era.