Sunderland had several tough seasons in the Premier League before they were eventually relegated last year. However, this season in the Championship has been their toughest in over 30 years. The Black Cats are not only on the brink of back to back relegations but next season they could be playing third-tier football for only the second time in their long history. However, there is still hope for Sunderland, if only small.
There is Hope for Sunderland, Even if it’s Small
After three disappointing defeats in four games which left the Black Cats bottom of the Championship, Sunderland faced Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light. Defeat here could have given them an uphill battle that they could not win. However, they gave a fighting performance resulting in a 3-3 draw.
There are still 12 games remaining in this season’s Championship. Sunderland, although bottom are still only four points from safety. Teams around the relegation zone, although picking up points here and there are not leaving the Black Cats adrift at the bottom. This, along with the much-improved performance versus Middlesbrough gives Chris Coleman and Sunderland’s fans some hope.
Sunderland are in their own mini league at the bottom of the table, a league that although does not make good reading for fans, it is one they must win.
The fighting spirit Chris Coleman has demanded finally began to show this weekend and that will give many hope if only a glimmer.
New Owner Soon?
This week, owner Ellis Short dropped his price that he would accept for the club to £50 million. Just two days later it emerged that he would be willing to part company with the club for free if the new owners would take on the existing debt believed to be around £137 million. Half of that is owed to Short who may forego some or even all of that. These figures are from the accounts reported in 2016. With the next set to be reported in April, these debts could now be less.
The situation with the owner wanting to sell has certainly not helped the club of late if anything it has hindered it and played a major part in where the club finds themselves in at present. He has not endeared himself to supporters, especially this season where he allowed a paltry amount to be spent in an attempt to rebuild the squad after relegation and relocated back to his native USA.
Coleman Speaks Out
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has admitted he has not had one conversation with Short since his appointment late last year. “Obviously Ellis wants to sell the club, and they recognise that maybe his love for the club was yesterday. He wants to sell the club, that’s common knowledge, so until we get someone that wants to turn a corner with it and love it, care for it and look after it…that’s why you get the negativity.”
With some passion and fight being shown against Middlesbrough, the current club owner willing to make way for someone with more love for the club and games left to get themselves out of trouble, there is hope, however small. Chris Coleman said, “If we do that more often than not we will get points. It’s not easy but it’s very doable. There will be a time when we win and it will change the face of everything.”
Unfortunately, the reality is that time and games are running out and like in the eighties when Sunderland were last relegated to the third tier of English football, things may get worse before they get better. Sunderland fans have everything crossed that the latter does not happen and somehow they can claw themselves to safety no matter how.
There is hope for Sunderland, but it is running out.
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