Mark Lawrenson says that despite having numerous managers and lots of players, there has never ‘been any clear plan’ at Sunderland for years.

The eventual outcome of that is Lawrenson believes the Mackems are ‘doomed’.

As Newcastle fans, we know that the only thing that has kept them up for a number of years has been the points that Pardew, Carver and McClaren gifted them each season.

Looking for a silver lining Mark Lawrsenson has told Sunderland fans to look at Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez for inspiration, saying that ‘Newcastle have proved you can go down and make yourself stronger’.

Surely though this is more simply stating the exception to the rule because if you talk to fans of clubs such as Blackpool, Portsmouth, Wigan, Fulham, Bolton and Leeds, as well as many others, not many will be raving about the great things that relegation has produced.

It was almost unique circumstances at Newcastle United, as a club with one of the top 20 revenues in the world was being so disastrously ran by Mike Ashley and his underlings.

The relegation forced a desperate Ashley to have to agree and appoint a proper manager with proper control of the football side of things, especially transfers. On top of that we were remarkably lucky that Rafa Benitez could see the massive potential at St James Park, if the owner agreed to let him get on with the job.

Another huge bonus was that the players who wanted no part in fixing the mess they’d helped create, also generated some £80m+ in transfer fees.

Sunderland might get a few quid for their keeper but Defoe has a relegation clause where he leaves for nothing and who would want most of the rest of them, even on a free?

With a manager who looks a clown on and off the pitch, they don’t have any kind of a Rafa Benitez, so I don’t foresee many Sunderland fans thinking this relegation is going to be the best thing on Wearside since somebody decided to mix chips with cheese.

Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:

“Sunderland are doomed, I’m afraid to say.

“It’s been a strange year for them and that’s come on the back of a few strange years.

“They have had lots of different managers and therefore lots of different back-room staff and then lots of different players.

“Maybe losing Allardyce to the England job didn’t help – it could be a different story now if that hadn’t happened. 

“But nowhere along the line has there been any clear plan.

“But sometimes it’s not the worst thing in the world to go down to the Championship.

“Newcastle have proved you can go down and make yourself stronger.

“They (Sunderland) will be a big club in the Championship, it’s a dog-eat-dog league and you’ve got to have some guts to come straight back up but it’s possible.”

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to contribute@themag.co.uk)



  • Mike

    would have been interesting if they had gone down with us bit of an edge and local rivalry. can see boro joining them too ha ha ha

    • Jezza

      I hope Middlesborough survive, I like to see the smaller clubs doing well. Having the likes of Middlesborough, Hull, Watford, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Bournemouth in the Premiership not only rubs it in face of the corporate money grabbers at Sky Sports, it also makes the league far more interesting as far as I’m concerned.

  • MadMag83

    It may yet turn out that all those years of dodging relegation actually turn out to have done more harm than good. They’re probably more ill prepared for life in the Championship than they would have been had they gone down last season and kept Hippo heed.

  • hetonmag

    This league is awful and it’s to Rafa’s credit that he has got us where we are at this moment in time, have a look at the teams in and around us they have been their for years so it’s no gimmie that the Muckems would come straight back up.

  • mentalman

    it depends how you react, it is a good opportunity to keep a core of players who are good enough for you to compete and then jettison all of the deadwood

    • Jezza

      Trouble is they will probably lose their good players like Defoe and Pickford and get stuck with the deadwood.

  • Leazesl Ender

    Here we go again, ‘dropping down a division might be good for the club’… Looking for ‘positives’ where none exist, is the most banal quest and should be left to social workers, priests and politicians not football pundits.