I was indifferent when the EFL wrote off the current season. I had no confidence that even if the season had restarted, we would get anywhere so, after renewing my Season Card (thanks SAFC for extending the deadline after I had renewed!) I was willing to wait and see what changes would take place before the next season started (if/when it does).
Now I'm sure there will be those out there who think it is madness not to want to hang on to every last chance of having a tilt at promotion but my emotional bank account is empty and I just couldn't face much more disappointment even though I've had plenty of experience of it already in the last 60+ years. We're a club going nowhere - or are we?
I've been troubled to hear rumours of a clear out of players especially from the youth ranks and one loss in particular is raising my hackles. In my opinion Bali Mumba has never been given a decent chance at the club. Some youngsters stand out as looking like they've got something special about them and the little (no pun intended) I saw of him impressed me greatly. I'm at a loss to work out why he hasn't been rated by the club. If it is simply his diminutive stature, then someone needs their bumps feeling. If height was the only yardstick used to judge a player then people like Aguero and David Silva would never have made the grade. Even in our own ranks over the years we've had Stan Cummings, Steed Malbranque, Stephane Sessegnon and a certain K Phillips all of whom lacked stature but not talent.
I'm tired of employing players who have experience in this league and a manager who has a record of getting out of it. Well that combination hasn’t worked so far hasn't it? How about thinking outside the box instead and playing in a way the other twenty odd teams in the league have no experience of and don't know how to handle? How about playing a passing game using people who have both the skill and the footballing brains to do it instead of just trying to employ Le Hoof and outmuscle every team put in front of us.
Have we got such players? Yes but a few of them don't seem to have made it near the first team this season. Youth also brings its own enthusiasm and heaven knows we could do with a bit of that. Oh, I'm sure the excuse for selling players which will be trotted out will be the need to 'balance the books' bearing in mind how tight the finances are going to be now that we've failed once again.
Stewart Donald's avowed aim was to get the club on a much sounder financial footing and in the short term it seems that was being achieved. However, recent debate about how the parachute payments were used and speculation over debts to the club being written off don't exactly paint a rosy picture and failure to get promoted during this campaign will no doubt have made things much worse.
Which brings me to the current 'fire sale' of certain players. Donald is apparently a successful businessman and it looks like he wants to run the club more as Sunderland PLC rather than AFC. Whilst I accept it needs to be a going concern to exist at all, my fears are that, at this rate, it will end up as a shell company with no assets, no customers and no goodwill.