AS Sunderland AFC plans for the future after pulling off a great escape to avoid relegation, it’s little surprise football-related stories dominate our top ten this week:
1) Gardner makes Sunderland exit but Larsson talks continue
Craig Gardner moved out of his North East home and said his goodbyes this week as the summer clear out continues at Sunderland.
2) Sunderland face major battle to keep Colback
No fewer than 11 teams are believed to be chasing to snatch Jack Colback from Sunderland, with West Ham believed to be leading the pack.
3) £8million boost for Sunderland
Sunderland pocketed more than £8million in prize money for finishing 14th in the Premier League, but missed out on the extra £2.4million they would have landed if they’d beaten Swansea to come 12th
4) Teenager found stabbed in Sunderland
Readers were shocked when a 16-year-old boy was found with a stab wound to his neck at the weekend. Several people have now been arrested, and a number were charged.
5) TRANSFER TALK: Sunderland linked with Aston Villa winger
As the rumour mill begins to turn ahead of the transfer window, there were reports that Sunderland were interested in Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton.
6) Sex attacker raped teenager “because he couldn’t afford a prostitute”
Readers were appaled after Oliver Garside said he would have rather hired a prostitute than rape a teenager, but he didn’t have the money.
7) The bride and bride – same-sex couple celebrate Sunderland’s first gay wedding
One of our happiest stories this week was the story of Dawn and Emma Donkin, the first same-sex couple to tie the knot in Sunderland after the introduction of gay marriage.
8) Giaccherini wants to stay at Sunderland
Super sub Emanuele Giaccherini faces questions over his future at the Stadium of Light after starting just once for the Black Cats since January.
But the Italian said he’s very keen on staying at Sunderland after his big role from the bench in the great escape.
9) Poyet expects to continue as Sunderland boss
Gus Poyet shrugged of rumours he could be set to leave Sunderland and said he was happy and confidence he would stay in Wearside.
10) Sunderland boss hopeful on “three or four” contract renewals
Gus Poyet announced on Monday that all Sunderland’s out-of-contract players now know where they stand and the club is looking to get “at least three or four” to agree new deals.