Sunderland fans have had delivering their damning verdict on Sunderland’s wretched 2016/17 season, with 84% unhappy with Ellis Short’s tenure as chairman.
Nearly half of the those who took the Echo’s end of season poll would like to see the ownership change this summer as the Black Cats look to bounce back to the Premier League.
The current situation looks perilous with a debt over £100 million hanging over the club, and a likely lack of investment in the squad this summer said to be a major reason behind David Moyes’ resignation.
Chief executive Martin Bain is leading the search for his replacement and fans have delivered a less damning verdict on his tenure, though around half are unhappy with his performance.
Short and Bain, alongside the new manager, face a daunting task in winning back the fanbase after a season in which patience was sorely tested and ended in the sight of fans staying away from the final home games at the Stadium of Light.
That task will also fall to whoever takes over from Moyes, with fans underlining the bitter unpopularity of the former Sunderland boss.
Close to 90% said they were pleased Moyes, who has been linked with the Scotland post should Gordon Strachan depart, left the club in the weeks following the end of the season, with 20% saying he was biggest factor behind relegation.
Moyes’ perceived downbeat demeanour was a source of frustration amongst fans throughout the campaign. He drew derision after the first home game of the season, a 2-1 defeat to Middlesbrough, when he told fans to expect a relegation fight and again in January when he insisted that any likely signings would not be able to make much of a difference. News broke later that day that Joleon Lescott was training with the squad with a view to signing a short-term deal.
Almost half of readers polled said his demeanour was his worst quality as manager, with tactics and man management seen to be his other major flaws.
Nevertheless, he was far from the sole reason the Black Cats suffered the drop and the readers verdict reflected that, with 60% keen to attribute the blame between Moyes, Short and the playing staff.
The respect and esteem with which Sam Allardyce is still held by the Black Cats faithful was also reflected in the fact that almost 40% felt his departure for the England job, just weeks before the season began, was the biggest single reason Sunderland were relegated.
Allardyce’s recent resignation sparked a flurry of excitement among the Sunderland fanbase, odds on a dramatic return shortening dramatically.
He subsequently announced his retirement, with Sunderland searching for a replacement who can lift the apathy on Wearside as he did in his short time in charge.