Sunderland are plummeting.  It’s been coming for a long time and I’m loving it.

I like to think that I’m not one to take gleeful delight in the misfortune of others…but when it comes to the football results of a rival club, you can make an exception. That is as far as I go in breaking that rule.

I am the Mackem-obsessed Newcastle supporter who previously built a stats spreadsheet comparing the match and goal stats of Newcastle United and Sunderland from years gone by.  I did this out of curiosity and a “need” to see just how bad  (or good)  things are for either of our clubs.

I looked at the comparative stats for our Championship seasons, Premier League seasons and throughout our entire club histories.

It’s only then that I truly realised how good a history Sunderland actually has. They were different times of course but you can see why they were seen historically as one of the big names of English football.  That might be hard to swallow for some and I hope I haven’t lost you at this point…  but when you consider this fact, you can then see how far they’ve actually fallen.

I wrote back then that my obsession with the stats grew on a Monday night in September 2016 when the mackems contrived to lose a home match to a quickfire Romelu Lukaku hat-trick. An amusing and very familiar feeling. Over the years the Stadium of Light, barring the odd good day here and there, has not been a happy place for them by and large.

But really it was before then.  In November 2011, Sunderland lost 2-1 at home to Wigan Athletic and various things about that time are imprinted in my mind.  Things such as the result leaving them perilously close to the relegation zone, the ease of which Di Santo scored the second goal.. the commentary of long-suffering BBC Newcastle commentator Nick Barnes and the jeers of the crowd.  It was Steve Bruce’s last game as Sunderland manager and the moment I realised I was actually enjoying their downfall and wanted them to go down.

This was all before the whole “6 in a row” thing as well.  It wasn’t even about being sick of the mackems having the derby bragging rights.  It was just a moment something switched on in my brain.  A Sunderland defeat became almost as good a feeling as a Newcastle win. As Newcastle supporters, we don’t want to see times when Sunderland are doing better than us, so the more they are losing, the better!

So yes, I’m a bad man and I’m going to hell :)

Will I miss the derbies?

Well apart from the fact that the clubs could easily meet again in a domestic cup competition, like the Checkatrade Trophy for example, we have to temper our amusement with the thought that this could easily be us one day under Mike Ashley’s ownership.  And frankly after six In a row, I’m ready for a break from them.

They can have their six in a row for as long as necessary.

The fact is though that our clubs are going in very different directions. I mentioned before that Sunderland have a very good history in English football. However, in my lifetime, they have never amounted to anything more than 7th place at the top level, have never competed in the big European competitions and, like us, haven’t won a major trophy.

We have our own shortcomings there but I’m going to make a very bold prediction.

I’m 35 years old in July and for as long as I live I don’t really see them beating 7th at the top level. Or doing anything of note, the likes that the top level clubs do. Seventh is their highest premier league finish and is, therefore, my yardstick. It is quite possible they may never play Premier League football ever again. That is a bold prediction I know, and a touch provocative and probably wide of the mark, but this is my hunch.

However, I just don’t see the club in its current state and the current level of investment getting back to the Premier League in the next five years.  We don’t really know what is ahead for them.

The Ellis Short regime will end one day, but let’s assume they do get back in the minimum two years, the Premier League clubs (hopefully Newcastle included) will all have strengthened and will be operating at an even higher level than they are now.

It’s going to take a gargantuan amount of investment to make even so much as a timid knock on the door for them to get into that group.

Our chances are not much better but at least we’re where we want to be [at the minute] and feel we should be.

That is why after this weekend I am immensely happy at both our clubs’ fortunes and that’s why I’m a bad man, probably on my way to hell for my gleeful delight :)

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  • TheNutJob

    Sack the board, Coleman oot. we want Pards & Geordie John

    • Leazes.

      The word Geordie isn’t a term of abuse muppet!

      • Come&TakeIt1836

        Is ‘muppet’ intended to be a term of abuse or a statement of fact in reference to his avatar? 😂

  • Jezza

    It’s getting extremely tedious.

  • mentalman

    how about instead of an article about Sunderland’s demise we could have one bout the demise of north eastern football as a whole

    • Leazes.

      He should know about that he appears to live in Hartlepool…. he’s a journalist, not a United fan!

  • ghostrider

    It’s not all bad for Sunderland…well, it is at the minute,obviously.
    However, they need to get rid of all the underperforming overpaid players and get back to literal brass tacks and grass roots.

    This will be their chance to get things in order and restart after everything is sorted out.
    It just might take them many many years to get back into the premier league unless some sugar daddy blank cheque owner appears from somewhere.

    Their team has spent a lot of years battling relegation, mainly from the premier league and the odd one like they’re suffering now.
    The crowds will naturally dwindle as they would for any club in that position, no matter what anyone says.

    Those crowds will return if they start winning and having a squad of players that actually give a flying falook.
    There’ll be a lot of good young kids there who would bust a gut to wear their shirt, coupled with some solid buys from the lower leagues and they could be flying in no time and giving their fans some real down to Earth football, played by players who are proud to wear that shirt with the over paid dross and mercenaries long gone and a feel good factor returning…regardless of the lower league.

    I wish them well.
    Because my interest in football is Newcastle United and my mindset does not stretch to hatred of a team and fans that are not any different to what we have, except in the minds of those who spend their lives believing there’s some kind of class divide in a region that should be anything but divided in reality.

  • Leazes.

    I was looking forward to the history lesson in the title but there wasn’t one. I’ve just looked over your previous articles and there bursting with ‘positives’…. which is another way of deflection, like 3 good, 3 bad or 5 things we learned.

    Very poor and disappointing piece of nothing.

    There is a Johnny Grieve in Digital Media in Hartlepool…. is that you?…..have you written this for Mark then as a page filler, does he pay?

  • Rich Lawson

    The only time I have enjoyed any success for them was when they beat ”dirty” Leeds in the cup final,cracking goal by Porterfield and then Stokoe in his hat and mack running up the field to embrace Monty after his brilliant save from Lorimer. I had a laugh when they went down,but I would like to see them hang around the lower leagues for years rather than dissapear. Why can’t we have a two legged pre-season friendly for fun,I’m sure they need the gate money now ?

    • Brian Standen

      we did it once before and there was riot after the game at Poker Park, ten thousand crowd with half from up here – pure carnage

  • Scott Robinson

    I used to laugh when Sunderland fans say we are the ones obsessed with them as what can be more deluded than that. But these recent articles would make any unbiased individual think that indeed we are! Just stick to the mockery they justifiably deserve, which is part of the local rivalry. It is much better than watching them win the Champions League, er, I mean Championship. They managed to get out of the Championship in just one season, credit where it is due.
    A guy in Prison had a letter telling him they had 50 plus thousand to see Laurie Mackemenemy’s first game. It was all down hill from there, as by the time he got out they were in the old third. If it had been Brian Clough we might now be envious of their statistics, but I very much doubt they’ll be back in the next 10 years. I never thought SAFC would be a bigger laughing stock than the Mackemeneny era, but there you go and of course it is ‘funny’!

    • Leazes.

      Yes the managed to get out of the Championship with games to spare!

    • Brian Standen

      for the record Laurie McMenemy first game for the mackems at home to blackburn rovers attracted a Meagre 21,202 fans to Roker Park (2-0 v Blackburn) and his second game it was down to 16,414 (0-3 v Oldham)…. all the stats are available on certain website.

      was the guy in Prison an accountant because clearly he could not count!

  • Chris

    Why doesn’t Ashley buy Sunderland, probably makes a lot of sense, shirt sales, his money would go far etc must look good to him ……. please

    .. and we’d be free

  • Andymac

    Twitter comment “A shop in Sunderland is selling SAFC wallpaper for 10p a roll. With a cautionary note – “Cannot guarantee to stay up” 🤔

  • Coach Clagnut

    The “Bank of England” club, now available for a quid.

  • kingfisher

    Sunderland will be playing Accrington Stanley next season.Who the f***are they I hear you ask?.Just a little team from a small village who play in red and white🤣🤣🤣(I’ll get me coat )