Jack Ross received the sack in October and was replaced by Phil Parkinson amidst growing fan unrest towards owner Stewart Donald.
And then the Coronavirus pandemic hit, forcing life as we know it to pause completely, including the football season.
Eventually, the League One season was curtailed early and settled on a points-per-game basis.
That meant Sunderland finished eighth with several players moving on in the summer.
Here, we take a look at where they are now:
1. Declan John
After failing to make a single appearance whilst on loan at Sunderland, Declan John is now at Bolton Wanderers, who will compete against the Black Cats in League One this coming season.
Photo: Mike Hewitt
2. Duncan Watmore
Duncan Watmore ended the season as Middlesbrough's top scorer whilst working under charismatic manager Neil Warnock on Teesside.
Photo: Stu Forster
3. Ethan Robson
The Academy of Light graduate won promotion to the Championship with Blackpool via the play-offs last season but has just joined League One outfit MK Dons on a season-long loan.
Photo: Alex Burstow
4. Bali Mumba
The young right-back has just won promotion to the Premier League with Norwich City after his side finished first in the Championship last season.
Photo: George Wood