Sunderland Till I Die


Jan 26, 2017
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After watching Sunderland Till I Die again I feel I have finally found the needed motivation for a long term save

Sunderland is one of the biggest clubs in the North East of England and have a long time rivalry with Newcastle who they have the Tyne & Wear Derby with. Their other rivals are Middlesbrough who they play in the Wear-Tees Derby. Yes the club play in League One but they still have one of the biggest fan bases in England. With this fan base we will be looking to try and fill The Stadium of Light which has a capacity of 48,707. Trying to get the fans back into the stadium will be needed to bring cash into the club as well.

When the club got relegated at the end of the 2016/17 season to the Championship then everybody thought that the club would bounce back straight away but the unexpected happened and the club suffered a shock back to back relegation's to end up in League 1. Over this time the finances at the club deteriorated as Elis Short stopped bankrolling the club and looked to sell it. Up stepped Stuart Donald who came in to be the white knight and save the club and get it back up the leagues to where the club belongs. Only his first season in charge didn't go to plan as they lost the play-off final to Charlton to stay in League One. With this the fans turned on him over the summer and he then publicly stated that he wanted to sell the club. With this it was then announced on Christmas Eve 2020 that the club was being sold to Kyril Louis-Dreyfus who is the son of the former owner of Marseille. He has finally managed to guide the team back into the Championship and hopefully this is the start of the club returning to glory.

What makes this save even more interesting is the buyout that Newcastle had as its going to make it a lot harder to try and overtake them as they can buy themselves European football.

The Stadium


A stadium to be very proud of with a capacity of 48,707 which shows just how large the support is for this great club has around it local community and even further afield after the Netflix documentary. It will be key to our ongoing plans to making sure we fill the stadium as often as possible.

Board Vision


The board aren't expecting us to go up straight away and see us as a bit of a project which I agree and we should be aiming for the top half in my opinion

Supporter Vision


The fans are very passionate meaning they have high influence on the board which was shown when they managed to get Stuart Donald to sell the club so its going to be key to keep them happy over our time at the club. They only want us to remain in the championship so they don't have high standards yet.

The Squad


The squad has had a lot of investment in it over the last year and a half with it becoming a much younger squad than what it has been for a long time with only 2 players in the first team being over the age of 30 and a further 7 players being 25 or over which shows the direction the club is trying to take with player recruitment. There are some very exciting players though with the likes of Daniel Ballard, Dennis Cirkin, Dan Neil, Jack Clarke and Jewison Bennette who are going to be the future and should help the team over the next few years with its promotion push. The team also has Amad Diallo in on loan from Manchester United for the season who should be a very good player down the right wing.



We have a wee bit of cash to spend this season so its going to have to be spent wisely to bring in the right players with maybe loans being the best idea.

The Start


We've got a busy start to the season and we come up against some very good teams which will be expected to be fighting it out at the top of the table but we have had a very easy draw in the first round of the Carabao Cup against Port Vale to look forward to.​
The Start


So over the course of August we made a couple of transfers and also missed out on a lot of loan deals as players chose to go elsewhere sadly but we did manage to bring in 2 players.

Ronnie Edwards


We all know the quality that Edwards can bring to the team just now and in the future and he is certainly an investment that will make us a big profit in the future. We signed him for £1.2million upfront with a further £3.4million over the next 3 seasons which may cost us in the short term but will pay dividends in the long term as he will be a starting CB this season.

Julio Enciso


A talented winger from Paraguay who will add cover to the wings as I've decided to demote Patrick Roberts to the Under 21's as we will have to fork out £900,000 if he plays for the club again which I'm not willing to do so Enciso help fills that gap for the season ahead as eh joins from Brighton

Sunderland v Coventry City


A great start to the season as Diallo had a great debut opening the scoring in just the 3rd minute before Stewart doubled the lead both with great goals.

Bristol City v Sunderland


A bit of a disappointing game here as I feel we were the better team but we got very lucky with the penalty right at the end and Stewart managed to keep his cool to slot home

Carabao First Round
Port Vale v Sunderland


Ross Stewart is certainly making a name for himself in the team as he bags a hat-trick to see us into the next game to get him up to 5 goals in 3 games

Sunderland v QPR


You've got to hate this game sometimes as it looked like we were cruising to a massive win and I'm still unclear what happened but we managed to completely blow it and throw away a 4 goal lead as the scored from the spot with the final goal as well.

Sheffield United v Sunderland


We knew this game was going to be difficult and we did well to stay in it as long as we did but they deserved it so not much we can say.

Stoke City v Sunderland


We bounce back with a good win though as I feared the worse after being behind for so long but thankfully after a bit of encouragement we managed to pull it back with Dan Neil scoring a cracker to win the game

Carabao Cup 2nd Round
Crewe Alexandra v Sunderland


We tried to rotate the squad a bit here with the Norwich game in mind and thankfully Ba got the breakthrough nice and early and we were then able to sit back and take the rest of the game easy

Sunderland v Norwich


Sadly not to be here as we were completely outclassed here by Norwich

Sunderland v Rotherham United


Another disappointing game here as we'd built a good lead going into half time and then managed to throw it away for a 2nd time this month



Well down in 12th after 7 games but we are still only 3 points off the promotion places so its still early days and we sit exactly where the board want us to finish in midtable



Thankfully a much quieter month to give our players a chance to rest our players but we do have to play Middlesbrough who are top of the league and Watford who have players that could cause serious problems​

Middlesbrough v Sunderland


A massive tale of two halves here as we were really poor in the first half but some choice words at half time we were able to fire the team right up and Ross Stewart was able to get the deliveries he needed to get himself another at hat-trick and a huge 3 points.

Sunderland v Millwall


I expected more from this game especially after Stewart put us ahead but sadly a sloppy tacking from Edwards we concede the penalty and have to settle for a draw.

Reading v Sunderland


Another poor draw here but we did do well to get back in the game and salvage the draw thanks to a wonder goal from Diallo

Watford v Sunderland


What a game as we get a huge win against one of the promotion favourites and Ellis Simms finally gets his first goal for the club as well after he replaced Ross Stewart after 60 minutes.



After a much better month we're now sitting outside the playoff spots but there are still only 3 points between us and 16th as it looks like its going to be a close season



Another busy month for us here as we have 7 games to squeeze in with some more big teams to play​

Sunderland v Preston North End


Gooch came through the youth system and made the breakthrough here from the right back position as he slots home from just outside the box

Sunderland v Blackpool


Another narrow win thanks to Ross Stewart who is key to us this season it seems.

Swansea City v Sunderland


Ross Stewart is at it again with another goal early but we also keep our third clean sheet in a row

Sunderland v Wigan Athletic


Wigan have been struggling so far this season after their promotion and we make them pay here after we got off to a very early start.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland


I'm actually quite happy to walk away with a draw here as we managed to keep Diaz quiet

Sunderland v Burnley


Another game that was going to be really tough and Burnley had enough to win the game

Luton Town v Sunderland


A really disappointing result here as we should of had the beating of Luton



We sit in 6th spot but we're showing that we can clearly hold our own and are going to be in the promotion space or there about.



A nice quiet month as the World Cup is coming up but we have been lucky with a nice easy drawn in the Carabao Cup​

Huddersfield Town v Sunderland


Rhodes got the early goal and gave me the fear but thankfully Ross Stewart does what he's best at and gets us back in the game to get us a point.

Sunderland v Cardiff City


We had to rotate some of the squad here because the run of games but we do enough to get our first win in 5 games

Carabao Cup 3rd Round
Sunderland v Accrington Stanley


I honestly expected this to be a walk in the park but Gooch had to step up and convert from the spot for the only goal of the game

Birmingham City v Sunderland


We get very lucky here as Stewart's deflected shot saves us a point right at the death



We are slowly moving up the table and only 5 points off the automatic promotion spots now



We get back onto games after the World Cup and we have a big test against Brentford in the cup to see how we stand against Premier League opposition​

Sunderland v West Brom


First game back after the World Cup and it was a fair result between the two clubs

Hull City v Sunderland


A much better team performance even if Edwards did given a straight red which gave them their second but we showed what we could do getting another 2 goals with just 10 men

Carabao Cup 4th Round
Sunderland v Brentford


As expected they were just too strong and we are still a bit off being able to compete against these teams.

Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers


It all looked to be over after going 2-0 down but a couple of subs and it was enough to get our starters firing as we pull it back to walk away with a big point

Wigan Athletic v Sunderland


Its Diallo and Stewart at it again getting the goals and assisting each other as well to get the 3 points.



It still very close in the playoff spots and amazingly we're only 9 points off 2nd spot as well



We enter the FA Cup and hopefully we can get a bit of a cup run together to get some cash in but more importantly we have the January transfer window to look forward to​


We looked to move some players on at the club who were just taking a wage and not playing so we managed to bring in around £1,000,000 which was quickly put on the wage budget as players were starting to ask for new deals


I did also want to bring some new players in a swell to add a bit more depth to the squad in certain positions so we hit the loan market

Calvin Ramsay


I wanted a new RB to come in and Ramsay fits that bill and will become the new starting RB

Harvey White


We received the news that Cory Evans was going to be out for 6 months so we needed cover and White fits straight into how we want to play

Leon King


I wanted another CB in who can provide cover and will be happy playing a bit part in the squad

Jamie Bynoe-Gittens


Thanks to another long term injury to Jack Clarke we needed some added cover on the wings and the Dortmund player was willing to come in with them covering the wages

Blackpool v Sunderland


A nice routine win to get us on our way with goals coming from every are of the squad here

FA Cup 3rd Round
Sunderland v Oxford United


Goals either side of half time were enough to see us through into the next round even though I did expect this to be a bit easier

Sunderland v Swansea City


Ross Stewart has been a machine for us so far this season. I do worry what might happen if he gets injured though

Sunderland v Middlesbrough


A poor result here but it was probably fair in the end as they were the better team

Rotherham United v Sunderland


We bounce right back and who else would score the goals other than Stewart with two well placed finishes

Carabao Cup
Newcastle United v Sunderland


Sadly our first derby and we fall to defeat which was expected and it could of been a lot worse after being 2-0 down after only 15 minutes



We sit just a point off of 2nd so if the Middlesbrough result had gone our way we'd be sitting pretty. There are still a lot of teams though with a chance of making the playoffs as Norwich run away with the league



We only need to concentrate on league football now thanks to being out the cups with a nice mix of games this month​

Millwall v Sunderland


Defensively we were terrible here as both goals were from errors between the centre back and keeper

Sunderland v Reading


A much better game here as Enciso has stepped into Clarke's shoes as he gets two goals from the left wing

Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland


QPR were just the better team here and scored a good goal against us

Sunderland v Bristol City


We should of done a lot better here as Bristol sit bottom of the table so it was a poor result

Coventry City v Sunderland


It goes from bad to worse as Patterson came out flapping to a cross and missed it leading to the goal.



We've fallen back to 6th after a poor month with only a 5 point gap between us and 7th now so we need to be careful



A bit of a horrible month to play here with the first 3 games being games we could easily lose before facing Luton to finish the month off​

Sunderland v Stoke City


I thought we were in for a hammering after being 2 down after 4 minutes but thankfully we managed to manage to get back into the game and walk away with a point

Norwich City v Sunderland


This was always going to be a tough game and it was made all the tougher by Edwards being sent off in the 34th minute and Norwich got the win they deserved.

Sunderland v Sheffield United


What a performance as we record a big win over a promotion contender to keep us in the play off hunt

Sunderland v Luton Town


Ellis Simms had to step in for Stewart here and what a game it was with an excellent hat-trick



We leapfrog Sheffield United on goal difference but its still anybody's game to reach out and steal 2nd spot as well

Youth Intake


Well apparently its an excellent intake which we have 2 players who could apparently make it but I'm not totally convinced by them



A busier month as we look to see out the season before the play off split​

Burnley v Sunderland


We missed our chances here and it sadly cost us as we couldn't find the back of the net.

Sunderland v Hull City


This was a killer as we struggled again in front of goal but we did edge ahead before conceding with the final kick of the ball

Cardiff City v Sunderland


What an end to the first half as we get two very quick goals to give us a bit of confidence before conceding right after the break but thankfully hold on for the win

Sunderland v Birmingham City


I feared the worse again after conceding an equaliser but thankfully Ross Stewart comes to the rescue with a quick fire double

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town


We're putting a run together just at the vital point of the season as Stewart scores a header from the far post for the only goal of the game

West Brom v Sunderland


Out worst performance of the season so far as we were absolutely terrible here

Sunderland v Watford


After it all going well its going downhill fast we our heads were still down from the last game and it cost us



We'll we've managed to qualify for the playoffs but its hard to take as a couple of other results had gone our way we could of got 2nd spot


I forgot to get the screenshot here but we have our final game against Preston to play and then its onto the playoffs to see if we can get promoted​

Preston v Sunderland


A disappointing end to the season as we really should of had enough to win this game as Preston have been poor all season

Playoff Semi Final 1st Leg
Sunderland v Sheffield United


Ellis had to come in for Stewart who was injured and stepped right into his shoes with a perfect hat-trick to pretty much send us to Wembley for the final

Playoff Semi Final 2nd Leg
Sheffield United v Sunderland


Diallo cuts in from the right wing and fires home from 20 yards out for the only goal of the game

Playoff Final
Middlesbrough v Sunderland


Sadly it wasn't to be this year as Middlesbrough were just too strong at the end of the game with 2 very late goals to see them promoted



We can be very proud of our season after making it all the way to the play off final and the fans can be very proud



We're going to have to be very cleaver next season as we have no increase in wage budget but do have just under £5million to spend so we're going to have to sell some players and move it towards expanding the wage budget as we need some serious improvement to make sure we hit the same standards next season​
Great to see a Sunderland story. Can you show the stats of the squad and your main formation?

Stewart is a beast in Championship on this game.

Have you used much of Ba and Neil? They were great for me during my first season (got through the playoff 3-2 against QPR after being 2-0 down).

Great getting Ronnie Edwards as early as you did. I was waiting on Jan 23 as my brother had a season and said he was given £8m in Jan but was not to be.
Great to see a Sunderland story. Can you show the stats of the squad and your main formation?

Stewart is a beast in Championship on this game.

Have you used much of Ba and Neil? They were great for me during my first season (got through the playoff 3-2 against QPR after being 2-0 down).

Great getting Ronnie Edwards as early as you did. I was waiting on Jan 23 as my brother had a season and said he was given £8m in Jan but was not to be.

Sure he was my main formation. I just kept it simple as I didn't think we had the players to do anything fancy in the first season


I don't have the stats of the squad from last season as I'm just close to finishing the summer transfer window so there have been a few changes which will be coming to the story soon and with it maybe a new tactic.

Edwards was well worth the cash even though I should maybe of used it better but ah well. Lucky him I got nothing extra and was even disappointed with only having £4million to spend for the second season.

Neil played nearly every game for me and was class jumping between CM and DM when needed whereas Ba never really featured for me as I felt there were better options
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Sure he was my main formation. I just kept it simple as I didn't think we had the players to do anything fancy in the first season


I don't have the stats of the squad from last season as I'm just close to finishing the summer transfer window so there have been a few changes which will be coming to the story soon and with it maybe a new tactic.

Edwards was well worth the cash even though I should maybe of used it better but ah well. Lucky him I got nothing extra and was even disappointed with only having £4million to spend for the second season.

Neil played nearly every game for me and was class jumping between CM and DM when needed whereas Ba never really featured for me as I felt there were better options

I saved the game just before the QPR game so have a season where I got promoted (which was the first match I played) then a save where I stayed in the championship and that was about the level of funds I got.

I quite liked paying vertical tiki-taka with the same formation. Think my main squad was:

Ralston--Ballard--Alese--Cirkin (Ralston I got on loan from select with £1.4m buy option)
----DM---- (I signed this portugese free agent, 29 but can't think of his name, maybe Douglas Periera or something like that)

Found a cracking player for £90k called Manuel Fernandes (Lisbon B i think). He's worth around £9m when he joins in Jan 23 and is now around the £30m mark in the prem.
Season 2




We were busy in the transfer window getting rid of some players. The biggest loss to the club is Ross Stewart leaving the club to join Stoke but it was a deal that could severely improve the club. Anthony Patterson also leaves the club after being our No.1 last season but he had some costly mistakes so I've decided to let him go which means the search for a new keeper begins. Everybody else who left the club were let go to free up their wages and continue to improve the squad going forward.



We've been busy with brining in 10 players so far to improve the squad. Mark Travers is the keeper I've opted to bring in to be our No.1 this season. I also struggled to find a permanent striker to replace Stewart so we will be looking for Dane Scarlett to lead the line with Delap as a backup for us.

Ethan Erhahon brings something else to the midfield and should develop well and become a Scotland international in no time. Kaky and Rogers come in from City with Delap to add a bit more quality to the team down the wings as well



We played a lot of big teams here to test us along with bringing in a bit of cash but it also let the team get up to speed for the season ahead



We've still got a bit of cash to spend over the rest of the window and the expectations from the board are quite low for the season ahead as I really expect us to be in the playoff spots again come the end of the season



We manage to avoid the newly relegated teams and should have a straight forward start by having to face Stoke with Stewart so hopefully we can keep him quiet as we know how good he can be​

Further Transfers

First things first we signed a new AMC as Marko Brklijaca joined from Dinamo Zagreb for £4.5m and he looks like he could develop into a good player for us and will be given plenty of chances this season


Next I wanted another defender in to help cover at CB and add a bit more quality. We signed Hjalmar Ekdal from Djurgarden IF for just £2.3million. He is a Swedish international and can also cover RB as well.


We decided to leave any additional transfer business right until the end of the window and ended up selling another couple of players to help us fund more changes to the squad to help improve us as we sell two midfielders who were going to be playing backup this season


With 2 midfielders going I wanted somebody else to come in and help out so with that we signed Alex Scott on loan from Man City after the signed him last January to make it 4 players we have brought in from them so far this season


Next I was scouring the transfer list for any expectional deadline deals and I think we have a made a great signing in Joel Mvuka from Roma for £3.6m. He's only spent one season there and now he can really add something to us down the wings for the next few seasons.


Even with all our new signings coming in and people wanting new deals we are somehow still way down in the league standing for wages spent per annum which just shows how well we did last season


Sunderland v Stoke City


What a start to the season as wee keep our old player quiet and Dane Scarlett certainly showed that he is going to be able to step up this season and get us the goals as he gets a brilliant debut hat-trick.

Carabao Cup 1st Round
Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland


Bjklijaca is the one scoring a debut goal this time but Scarlett gets another 2 goals as well so hopefully this form continues

Fleetwood Town v Sunderland


Our 3rd game in a row scoring 4 goals and a brace a piece for Scarlett and Bennette who also set up the Scarlett goals as well to put in a MOTM performance

Sunderland v Preston North End


We let ourselves down here with only scoring 3 goals here but it was another easy game for Scarlett and Bennette who are in amongst the goals

Carabao Cup 2nd Round
Grimsby Town v Sunderland


We were able to rotate the squad here to give some other players a run out which saw a great debut goal from Alex Scott with a screamer from outside the box



We still have our 100% record and I didn't expect Millwall to be sitting just behind us on goal difference but there they are



2 huge games at the end of the month against Brighton and Watford as I expect both of them to be up there come the end of the season​

Sunderland v Huddersfield Town


Scarlett is a machine so far this season and Embleton was nearly sold in the summer but proving me right in keeping him and utilizing him as an AMC in getting two good goals

Swansea City v Sunderland


Scarlett is on fire!!!! Mvuka has also adapted really well since he joined as if he isn't getting an assist he's getting on the scoresheet

Rotherham United v Sunderland


He's only gone and added another 2 goals to his tally. At this rate he's going to be breaking all sorts of records this season. It was good to see Neil scoring from a freekick as well

Brighton & Hove Albion v Sunderland


We knew going into this game it was going to be one of the most difficult of the season and we got very lucky with the penalty to walk away with a point from a game we didn't deserve anything from

Carabao Cup 3rd Round
Plymouth Argyle v Sunderland


We were able to rotate the squad here and Liam Delap grabbed his opportunity with both hands with a brace to give us something to think about going into future games

Sunderland v Watford


Scarlett making sure he's still the first name on the team sheet after Delap's showing in the last game



We're only a point off top spot here but we do have a game in hand and are just 1 of 3 teams to remain unbeaten through the first 8/9 games



A reasonable month ahead in my eyes as there shouldn't be too many surprises hopefully​

Cardiff City v Sunderland


A nice easy start to the month as Scarlett scores a poachers finish before Clarke scored a tap in from the back post as well

Peterborough United v Sunderland


A tough game against the newly promoted team as we need to fight back twice to walk away with a point

Sunderland v Burnley


A respectable draw here as both teams were pretty bad and just couldn't finish

Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday


I always expect the worse when conceding early but thankfully Scarlet was able to get us back on even terms before we kicked on after Mvuka got sent off as Rogers came on and instantly made an impact with a goal before Clarke scored a well placed finish right at the death

Carabao Cup 4th Round
Sunderland v Nottingham Forest


We still just can't compete with Premier League teams just now for some reason but at least we managed to keep it to 3 goals after going down to 10 men.



We're still a point off top with a game in hand and still one of the 3 teams yet to lose in the league



6 games this month with big games against Sheffield United, Millwall and West Brom​

Coventry City v Sunderland


We had to fight back twice here before a late rally from our wingers to get us the 3 points

Sunderland v Blackpool


A much better game and we see Calvin Ramsay score a screamer to open the scoring before Delap slots home from the spot

Millwall v Sunderland


Delap is given a rare start here and he shows that he can be just as good as Scarlett when given the chance

Luton town v Sunderland


Our unbeaten run finally comes to an end here as we put in a really poor performance against Luton

Sunderland v West Brom


Delap helps us bounce straight back with two poachers goals against West Brom



Well we finally had our first loss and so has everybody else now as we have a 2 point lead at the top of the table with a game in hand



A very busy month here and to top it off we have some big games this month as well so rotation is going to be key to get us through​