Gloomy times, gloomy thoughts from Monsieur Salut …
No football club, whatever its history, has a divine right to play at all times in the highest division (Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal may claim exemption from this rule of natural justice though each has suffered past relegation).
It follows that no club has a divine right, once relegated, to descend no lower. Think Leeds, Villa, Southampton, Nottingham Forest among others.
Come May, if not – mathematically – a good deal earlier, Sunderland supporters may be forced to accept the power of that second “no divine right” rule. How much deeper we can sink is open to speculation.
But here’s a question for Ellis Short, our absent, silent (except for one soft in-house interview) and wholly reluctant owner, now reportedly asking for a pittance – £50m – if only he can offload this grand, historically glorious club he once had the foolish notion to own.
Where, Mr Short, do you suppose we’ll be in a year’s time? On the only other occasion Sunderland dropped into the third tier, the new season started – one short bad run excepted – as it would go on. Top or second at all times from Oct 10, runaway winners of the division with Marco Gabbiadini, Eric Gates and – believe it or not John MacPhail, a defender – bagging 56 goals between them.
Sunderland will not, on present evidence, be pushing for promotion let alone running away with the title. If not already in administration, they – we – seem more likely to be counting the games until a third successive drop is certain.
Mr Short: you have spent and lost a lot of money with SAFC. But for “lost” perhaps as accurately read squandered.
The chop-change managerial cycle has produced a few quick fixes but no more. We are the laughing stock of football and you could do worse than to check for Monopoly notes should someone turn up and offer to buy the club with cash, no questions asked.
Of course, you may be sitting there in Florida muttering about media lies. If so, sir, it is a classic case of wanting your cake and eating it: you brag that you don’t talk to the press and then complain that your unexpressed views and actions have become misrepresented.
Social media can be ugly and cruel, unthinking and dispiriting. But sometimes it gets it spot-on.
Take a look for yourselves:
I wish I didn’t care Sunderland are bottom of the Championship and facing relegation again but I do. Bloody depressing
— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) February 20, 2018
Sign our petition for Ellis Short to find a reputable buyer for SAFC, and to at least have full transparency with the fans on the status of the football club. https://t.co/26eHT1KlsT
— Red & White Army (@RedAndWhite2017) February 20, 2018
Sunderland (since joining the Football League in 1890):
Seasons in top division: 87
Seasons in second tier: 29
Seasons in third tier: 1
Cheers, Ellis. #SAFC
— Michael Potts (@MJPotts17) February 17, 2018
With Grabban gone, Bristol City are now our joint third top scorer…
— ALS: SAFC FANZINE (@ALS_Fanzine) February 11, 2018
#safc weren’t awful tonight. They were actually better than in some recent games. They are just still not good enough to beat a relegation rival, and that’s probably even more depressing.
My post-Bolton match marks here.
?? https://t.co/ELOzjtDIGh pic.twitter.com/VlnHaN9iy4
— James Hunter (@JHunterChron) February 20, 2018
They were better but I don't see how Sunderland survive from here. Absolutely heartbreaking.
— Phil Smith (@Phil__Smith) February 20, 2018