The day arrived yesterday that we’d been heading for all season, second successive relegation. For me, there’s no one person who you can point at and say “it’s all your fault”. Obviously Ellis Short as owner and chairman takes the ultimate responsibility, but it’s the constant change at the club which has affected it most. I don’t just mean managers, in 12 years we’ve had three Chief Executives, a Director of Football, a Sporting Director and one or two other Performance Directors which came and went with Allerdyce and Moyes. No one has been able to stamp any personality on the club since Keane, there’s no sign there’s any kind of scouting system in place; mainly due to most managers coming in, firefighting for 14 months and then losing their jobs.
So that’s where we need to restart, scouting. There’s no white knight coming over the hill with a large pot of gold so the club needs to generate it’s own funds. If we have a good summer we’ll start next season with an attacking core of Asoro, Gooch, Maja and Watmore backed up by McNair and Love with the promise of Ethan Robson and Elliot Embleton, potentially a potent combination for League 1 level but there’s every chance we’ll lose one or two of them. So we need to have back up plans for every eventuality; if we lose a player, to have 2, 3 or even 4 properly scouted as a back up. I’d hope by the opening of the January transfer window, we’ll have scouted just about every senior player in Leagues 1 & 2, had the stronger candidates watched 3 or 4 times so that we know whether they’d be capable of playing for Sunderland. We’ll have to become a selling club, no doubt about that but hopefully if we’re in a stronger financial position we’ll be able to hold out for better deals.
This might feel like the end of the world but it might just be the perfect opportunity to put Sunderland AFC’s world back in order.