Relegation: The Future of Sunderland AFC


If you’re a Sunderland fan then you’re no doubt unhappy of things of late. Chris Coleman has been sacked after the club were relegated to League one, and club owner Ellis Short has agree to sell. Being relegated is going to cause a lot of upset especially for the fans. In our article, we are going to look at what relegation means for the club as well as look at the ongoing financial woes, Chris Coleman’s future, and more.

Chris Coleman Sacked

After being relegated to League One, Chris Coleman has been sacked by Sunderland. The club were relegated after losing to Fulham. An official statement for the Black Cats said, “Sunderland AFC announces that manager Chris Coleman and his assistant Kit Symons have been released from their contracts. The club would like to place on record its sincere thanks to Chris and Kit for their tireless efforts in what has been a hugely disappointing season for everyone involved with the club.”

Coleman has left his previous role as the Wales international team boss last November but he couldn’t prevent Sunderland’s suffering and relegation during his five months in charge. Sunderland now face the task of searching for a new manager which will be their sixth in the last two seasons.

Coleman’s release from his contract came just shortly before Ellis Short agree to sell the club. It was confirmed that he agreed to a deal that will allow an international consortium of investors to take over pending EFL approval. The consortium is headed by Stewart Donald. The statement from Ellis said, “It is no secret that I have been trying to sell Sunderland, but I have waited until the right group came along that have the experience, finances, and plan to take this great club back to where it deserves to be.”

Sunderland Relegation Adds to Financial Woes

Unhappy fans bowed their heads as the Stadium of Light cleared and the reality of relegation set in. Darren Bent re-emerged from the tunnel and jogged to the end of the pitch where he had scored the 86th minute goal. This was also where almost a decade ago he scored a goal for Sunderland to beat Liverpool. Both goals surround a time in Sunderland’s history that saw nine permanent managers, two caretakers, two directors of football, and lots of bad signings, five relegation escapes, and more. The club ownership also changed from Drumaville to Ellis Short. Bent’s goal against Liverpool in 2009 saw Sunderland placed seventh in the Premier League with 47,000 spectators in attendance. His latest goal saw Sunderland at the bottom of the Championship and heading for the third division. This is only the second time in 139 years that the club will land here.

Attendance figures of just 25,000 shows that fans aren’t happy and even club employees are embarrassed. Sunderland has lost or drew 36 or their last 41 league games at the Stadium of Light. There was no angry mob because fans know their team has lost and they’ve lost trust in them. Chris Coleman may have earned admiration for his commitment to the team but he couldn’t turn things around either. He inherited a lop-sided squad and a non-relationship with Ellis. He’s been manager at the club for six months and has never spoken to Ellis.

Sunderland Relegation Adds to Financial Woes

Money problems are another issue. Sunderland is up for sale but they have accumulated a lot of debt over the past six years. A lot of this has come after Niall Quinn left as chairperson and Martin O’Neill was sacked. A lot of buyers are interested in the club until they see the figures.

Player salaries come into question too. Jack Rodwell is being paid £73,000 per week and he hasn’t played since September 2017. He also has another year left on his contract. Didier N’Dong was bought for £13m by David Moyes and is on loan at Watford. His contract doesn’t end until 2021. Wahbi Khazri was bought for around £10m and signed a 4 ½ year deal in 2016. He’s on loan at Rennes and they aren’t covering his wages.

Many report that Sunderland’s debt may in fact be closer to £200m and not £100m.

Coleman has stated that he doesn’t think it can get any worse but when you look at history, it took Nottingham Forest three years to get out of League One and they haven’t been in the Premier League since 1999.

Furthermore, fans of betting platforms and top casino sites will no longer be able to enjoy odds on Sunderland. League One games offer far less attractive odds and betting opportunities and Sunderland fans, in particular, might have to choose another list to wager money with.

What Relegation Will Cost Sunderland AFC

Relegation to League One is going to cost Sunderland over £5 million in lost revenues. The Black Cats will now see a steep drop in both EFL solidarity payments and the league’s “basic award” payment.

In the Championship, clubs get a flat payment of £2.084 million and unlike the Premier League, this is not linked to final league placing. Clubs in League One only get £677,000 a year.

Championship clubs also receive a “solidarity payment” from the Premier League which is £4.3 million. This drops to £645,000 for clubs in League One.

In League One, the Black Cats would be making just over £1 million from centralised payments. They made £150 million for finishing bottom of the Premier League last season.

The saving grace for Sunderland will be the continued parachute payments. They will get around £33 million next season no matter what division they are in and they will receive another £15 million in the third year following relegation.

The other form of revenue will be based on how many of Sunderland’s games are selected for live TV. Championship games provide the home club with £100,000 for every home game and £10,000 for an away game. In League One, home games are worth £30,000.

Sunderland’s Uncertain Future

The future for Sunderland remains with Ellis at the moment. He has invested tens of millions and could stand to lose even more. Supporter and fans are calling for the return of Niall Quinn but even with this happening there is no guarantee. The club requires a lot more. The absence of affection has been felt ever since Quinn left. Sunderland are now in the third division and it’s going to take a lot to bring them back.

Ellis Short’s ownership has left many coaches feeling lost and as long as he remains in charge of the club their losses and defeats will continue. You can keep up to date with everything that’s happening by reading the latest tweets from Sunderland AFC.

Nigel Clough spoke with genuine affection about the club and he hopes that this will give the club a chance to strip back and start again. This too is Coleman’s hope. He really believed that he could turn the club around and his comments after the relegation to League One were confirmed showed his dismay. He said, “Whatever was needed here when I arrived, I haven’t brought it.” Fans believed he would move Sunderland away from trouble but this hasn’t happened.

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