After the bad news for Sunderland fans – finding themselves in the third tier just two seasons after completing a 10th straight season in the Premier League – comes some good news. According to My Top Sportsbooks, we’re favourites to win League One (10/3) and almost even money to earn promotion back to the Championship (6/5).
All depends on results. But the whingeing about transfers apart, the feeling among supporters seems strong and positive. We hate where we are but we see, in Jack Ross and the new owner, at least a chance to rebuild our club, starting with the recruitment of players who may not be big-money stars but actually want to perform for Sunderland AFC. Paul Summerside shares this surge of goodwill and we can but hope he does not live to regret his new-found optimism …
First of all it’s nice to be back, status renewed to supporter and not fan.
The events of last season under the shambolic ownership of Ellis Short, the heartless and at times clueless club management of Martin Bain, the standard of football nous from Grayson and Coleman, and the apparent downing of tools from 80 per cent of our players, are now history.
As is my protest.
We begin again from scratch, a League One side, but with an ambitious owner who is a breath of fresh air, top drawer facilities and stadium, a manager full of promise, a rapidly evolving hungry young squad, and of course 23,000, yes 23,000, season ticket holders [I think that was the target after we sold 21,000+ – Ed].
Stewart Donald and Jack Ross offer the club a real chance to rise Phoenix like, from the ashes of Short/Bain.
Both speak with a lot of confidence, mixed with realism, and both dovetail perfectly with our fans. They offer something we’ve not had in years, a two way dialogue.
Of course none of the breathtakingly spectacular team rebuilding, new seats, Twitter honesty etc will matter a jot unless games are won and promotion is achieved.
This must happen at the first time of asking, and looking at the type of player JR is bringing to the club, it is a distinct possibility.
We’ve managed to retain our best youngsters (Gooch/Maja/Honeyman/Embleton), signed some of the best lower league players (Loovens/Baldwin and now ONein), and are disposing of a lot of the mercs who were largely responsible for the club’s recent demise (Rodwell/Khazri/NDong/Papy/Kone).
The pre season has gone from strength to strength, and bodes well for a strong start to the campaign.
Off the pitch we’ve become interesting again, but for the right reasons. I’m sure Charlie Methven has a lot of input in this area. The takeover, the new board, manager, players, fans, all being talked about in a positive manner. This is confirmed by Sky TV wanting to cover so many of our early games.
Momentum is everything, and we must carry the positivity of the last two weeks, into Saturday vs Charlton at the SoL.
Our fans must put away any petty squabbles and get 100 per cent behind Donald, Ross, and the players from minute one.
Remember at all times that your season ticket only entitles you to one thing….The right to sit in YOUR seat and support YOUR team…nothing else.
I for one am looking forward to this season with optimism, realism and pride. My glass is very much half full, and I can’t wait to take my (new) seat in the East Stand at 12.20 on Saturday. See you there!
Onwards and Upwards..