Fans left 'absolutely devastated' as Sunderland AFC are relegated
Sunderland AFC fans spoke of their shock and devastation as the club were relegated following Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Burton Albion.
Fans streaming out of the Stadium of Light following the shock result were left disheartened for the club's future.
But some said that this major blow meant 'things could only get better' for Sunderland.
With victors Burton still to play fourth-bottom Bolton, Sunderland, on 34 points, cannot now reach the 41 points minimum needed to stay up.
They will begin life in League One for only the second season in their history come August.
Season ticket holders Paul and Diane Dove, said Sunderland's failure to stay up was due to the poor performance from the players.
Yet they also felt the controversial decision to disallow a late Black Cats goal counted against them.
Diane, 59, from Farringdon said: "It is absolutely shocking.
"I can't believe that the referee didn't allow the goal."
Paul, 60, added: "I blame the linesman for not allowing the goal and I think that the players are to blame.
"Chris Coleman has done his best."
Andrew Cammiss, from Peterlee, added: "I am absolutely devastated.
"I blame the ownership, the referee and the poor tactics."
Barbara Jepson, 53, who was with her grandson Riley Robinson, five, from Shotton, was 'gutted' following the relegation.
She said: "I have been a Sunderland supporter for 49 years and a season ticket holder for 25 years, so I am absolutely gutted about the result.
"A lot of people are blaming the manager, but I think that is rubbish.
"I think the players are to blame. For the amount of money they get, they should be playing out of their skins.
"But I think the overall cause of it is that there is a deep rooted problem in the club that fans don't know about.
"I am red and white through and through though, so I will still be renewing my season ticket.
"Things can only get better."