Manager Chris Coleman remains desperate to be part of Sunderland’s future despite the ongoing uncertainty.
Coleman has begun drawing up three plans for the summer ahead, depsite knowing that much of it could prove to be a ‘waste of time’.
Crucially, he has again suggested that he will not need to be offered a significant budget to plot the club’s revival should they drop onto the third tier.
Last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Reading means the Black Cats are at serious risk of being relegated when they face fellow strugglers Burton Albion at the Stadium of Light tomorrow (3pm kick-off).
Should Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers better the Wearsiders’ result in that game, then the drop to League One will be confirmed.
Coleman has previously said that he is eager to stay in post even if that happens, his bigger concern being clarity over the ownership and direction of the club.
Takeover talks continue as owner Ellis Short looks to sell, but, as of yet, there has been resolution.
Coleman is aware that Short is unlikely to begin investing in the squad again and, while he accepts that he will walk away if he believes he can’t affect the club’s fortunes, the Welshman does not envisage that being the case.
Indeed, he says the pull of managing Sunderland still far outweighs the difficuluties he has encountered since taking over back in November.
He said: “We’ve got to plan in three different directions, unfortunately.
“Normally,, in a club job I know what cloth I’m cutting, how much money I’ve got to spend, what I might lose, all that.
“At the moment, we don’t know whether it is Ellis or a new owner, who might want to spend or not.
“We don’t think Ellis is going to inject any more cash – there’s all these different scenarios.
“It’ll be a long summer. I hope it is anyway, if it is not then it means I’m out of a job.
“And I do want to be here, planning it, doing it. So it will be a long summer, I hope.
“As much as I want to manage this club, of course, there are certain scenarios where you say, ‘it is pointless, I can’t affect it’.
“Whoever comes or doesn’t, I might have to say, I can’t do that, and I’ll be open and honest about it to everybody,” he added.
“I’ll say, ‘that’s why I couldn’t agree to that, why I don’t believe in it’. But these things are like that [small], compared to the reasons for me wanting to stay at this club, to rebuild, regardless of the league.
“Honestly, we’re all the same, everyone here.
“When we know, it will just be a massive sigh of relief.
“We can say ‘right, we’re done with that, this is it now’. Even if we pull it off, staying up, we’re still in the dark.”