Fans Museum founder Michael Ganley has told of his devastation after Sunderland slipped to the third tier of English football.
But he says the road to redemption for the club could be to engage more with supporters – and involve them more with the decision-making process.
He said: “It’s devastating, and will have a huge impact on people within the city.
“We’ve got to put the trust in the people who run it to make sure that the ship gets steadied and we start building again.
“I think they should bring some of the local community into the working of the football club behind the scenes. They should let the fans who have true passion get involved with the club and bring it back to the caring club which it was always known as. I’m convinced we’ll bounce back.”