Sunderland AFC

Finally down and out, The 2016/17 season has proved one step too far for Sunderland AFC. Having flirted with relegation for the previous four seasons they have finally succumbed to the dreaded drop.

The parachute payments will pale into insignificance once the fixtures are released in a few weeks’ time for the season ahead. The additional 8 games a season, more midweek fixtures and trips to Burton Albion and Bristol City will hit home hard at The Stadium of Light.

Ever since owner Ellis Short arrived in the North East in 2008 it’s been bad decision after bad decision. 7 permanent managers have come and gone with Short currently on his 9th in David Moyes, someone whom he has made no secret of his admiration for… Moyes has finally been the man to oversee a long overdue relegation.

david-moyes-sunderland

Calamitous spells in charge from the likes of Ricky Sbragia and Paulo Di Canio have not aided the former Man Utd Manager’s cause but this was not the right job for him to step into, he was defeated and downbeat from the off. In fact in the near 10 years in which the club has been under American ownership, the highest win % of any of the gaffers has been a miserable 35.2% under Martin O’Neill, The Irishman lost equally as many games as he won.

So what now for The Mackems?

Just have a look at their squad, terrible and without serious overhaul they could be destined for League One sooner than a Premier League return.

We’ll start with the seemingly obvious, Defoe will go (on a free!! Who’s idea was it to insert that clause into his contract?!) and Pickford will surely look to add to a rapidly increasing reputation with a move to a club in the top flight.

The Rest?

A dressing room full of failed potential and players long past their sell by dates. Jack Rodwell, Darren Gibson, Joleon Lescott, Victor Anichebe, Steven Pienaar, John O’Shea and Seb Larsson are all part of one of the most poorly assembled squads in recent Premier League history.

The Manager?

There are already chants of “Moyes out” from the stands and with an ever diminishing reputation you have to wonder what is going through the Scotsman’s mind as he enters the summer break. He has Championship experience but that was a long time ago, the league has since changed and Sunderland will hardly be favourites for the division with the likes of Aston Villa, Hull and Fulham looking a lot better placed for promotion.

The Boardroom?

You only have to look at recent seasons and you’ll see that there will be very little in terms of funds made available. The Black Cats generally spend what they recoup but with years of the insane Premier League money behind them it’s hard to fathom just where the £100’s Millions are going year on year, or is it?

Sunderland are reported to have the 14th highest wage bill in EUROPE! What?!? One thing is for sure and that is that they have very little in terms of saleable assets to provide funds to buy the relevant personnel that will understand the rough and tumble of championship football.

The side from Wearside need a complete club overhaul to have any chance of returning to the Premier League anytime in the near future. In their current state you have to envisage a mid-table Championship season is the best they can hope for.

We all know the North East of England is a hot bed for football, the fans are extremely passionate with generally very little return from their heroes on the pitch. Big rivals Newcastle have been able to bounce straight back but unless Rafa’s boys implode once more and find themselves in a relegation battle, we wouldn’t expect to have any fierce local derbies in the coming seasons Sunderland fans.

They deserve better than what they’ve recently had to endure.

Sunderland-fans

David Moyes image sourced from; www.skysports.com
Sunderland fans image sourced from; www.chroniclelive.co.uk

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The Sack Race…

It’s early August 2015, the sun is shining and football is back!

Players are transferred in / out, the tactics boards have been updated and ready and the grass has been freshly cut.

Promotion chase, relegation fight or glorious cup run….who knows!

92 Managers up and down the country in England’s professional leagues are geared up for the long season ahead.

Yet sadly just 3 months into the season, over 20% of those 92 have been relieved of their duties by the powers that be in the boardroom.

On Tuesday Gary Bowyer was told by Blackburn Rovers that his time was up, he became another statistic in football management.

Number 19 sacked of the 15/16 season for anyone that’s keeping score.

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Swansea are close to removing Gary Monk if reports are to be believed and Chelsea may once again axe “The Special One”.

So when will it end?

How many of the 19 clubs will genuinely see their clubs finish in a better position?

  • Aston Villa – Will Remi Garde save them from the drop?
  • Huddersfiled Town – Can Klopp’s coach Wagner get a tune from the terriers
  • Swindon Town – Temporarily managed by the chairman!
  • Leeds United – Who knows?!?!?

Where are the LMA when all this is going on? The job of the LMA is to protect and support the managers who are in the association. In all honestly though what advice could be provided other than “see you down the job centre in a few months”.

LMA-Logo

It stems back to the fit and proper persons test that appears to be a sham. 2 of the most prolific clubs for sackings are Blackburn (Venky’s) and Leeds (Massimo Cellino).

Between the 2 clubs the combined foreign ownership is less than 7 years, Between the 2 clubs they are now close to appointing their 13th manager if Paul Lambert is brave enough to sit in the dugout at Ewood Park.

We all know that football is a results business but sometimes common sense has to prevail and a step back to be taken.

As a football fan ask yourself – if we sacked our manager tomorrow, who is out there that we could honestly attract? I’m betting that not many can provide a strong case for change.

At the majority of clubs stability is key for long term success. Developing the youth set up, progressing with a style of and even understanding the club itself.

The time has come for the quick fixes to stop and sensible heads required.

Here’s hoping we don’t see many more and don’t come close to breaking a terrible record of last season which stood at a massive 40!

Still a long way to go for most and I certainly would back against another 22 being given the chop.

Who’d be a football manager though eh!

Gary Bowyewr Image Sourced From; www.thetelegraph.co.uk
LMA Image Sourced From; www.leaguemanagers.com