Alan Shearer says he takes no pleasure from Sunderland's demise - and says Ellis Short's mismanagement is the reason for their plight.
Former Newcastle United star Shearer enjoyed many battles with the Black Cats over his career, but thinks there won't be any derbies between the two clubs for a while now.
And he has warned Sunderland fans that they may not bounce back to the Championship quickly, after Sunderland were relegated to League One at the weekend.
Writing in his column in The Sun, Shearer said: “I take no pleasure from Sunderland’s demise.
“How can a club of that size, with that stadium, find themselves in the third tier of English football?
“Mismanagement on a huge scale from an owner who has long since wanted out.
“It said everything about the malaise, that few people there even seemed to realise they had gone down after Saturday’s home loss to Burton.
“It is going to be a long haul back and don’t bank on a quick promotion. Every game next season will be like a cup final for their opponents, who will see the Black Cats as a major scalp.
“What we will not be having soon is a North-East derby — and I’ll miss the great atmospheres. They are great to play in but, unless they’re drawn in a cup, there won’t be another for a while.”