2014: where will we be then, where are we now?

That’s the year when Steve Bruce’s newly extended contract runs out.

At a time when a painstakingly detailed report on the Sunderland business model has just appeared (see below), it is not impertinent to wonder aloud where he will be then, and indeed where SAFC will find themselves.

If Bruce does well, returning to where we left off before the present run of defeats began, the risk is that another club – if not a post-Fergie Manchester United, then someone else – will come in to lure him away.

Managers, like players, can change allegiance at the drop of a hat provided the hat contains enough dosh or professional promise (just as there is no such thing as loyalty from club to them).

And if the decline worsens and we end up, despite all that Ellis Short money we’ve spent, hovering just above the relegation zone in an incredibly tight division, or a prolonged slump extends into next season, that absence of loyalty from clubs to their staff could see Mr Bruce on his bike out of the place.

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