Sunderland appear to be moving in the right direction on and off the field and though there is work to do on both fronts, they now look better-placed to get back into the Championship than they did in the summer.
He hasn’t put an exact estimate of what that means exactly, but the next level would mean promotion to the Championship, and it is no secret that is the aim this year, and the reason why Phil Parkinson was brought in last month.
The additional finances should serve the club well, but boasting the biggest stadium and the biggest budget doesn’t guarantee success.
The Black Cats found that out the hard way in 2018/19, when they missed out on promotion despite spending a League One record of £4m on Will Grigg, who has since returned just five goals in 32 league appearances.
As a result, the reported £10m may not be the solution to Sunderland improving on their seventh-placed position, but it certainly should put the club in better standing off the pitch.
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In reaction to the news, we asked Football FanCast writers what effect the cash injection will have on Sunderland’s chances of promotion, here’s what they said.
“While the added investment will presumably be helpful to Sunderland in many ways, I don’t know how beneficial it will be to the Black Cats’ promotion hopes.
“The Wearsiders splashed out a massive £4m on Will Grigg, only for him to have notched just one league goal so far this term, so that just goes to show that throwing money at players in League One isn’t the be-all and end-all for clubs to be successful.
“In all honesty, I don’t think it’ll have much impact, if any. Not for a few seasons at the very least.”
“Sunderland appear to be on something of an upward curve under new manager Phil Parkinson – especially with two home wins out of two in League One so far – but the recent investment actually may have no impact on their chances of winning promotion back to the Championship this season.
“While it is a boost that looks likely to benefit the club’s academy and the fan matchday experience, there has been no suggestion yet that any money will be pumped into improving the playing squad in the New Year.
“Of course that could feasibly change depending on where they are in the league – they currently lie five points adrift of the automatic promotion places – and Parkinson may want to add one or two new faces to his side if possible.
“If the investment does allow that to happen, to ensure they secure a top-two finish and avoid the lottery of the play-offs – something that of course cost them last term when they were beaten by Charlton Athletic in the final – then it can only be a good thing.”
“Such is the flux at Sunderland over the last couple of years that who knows what added investment will mean. After all, the way they forked out £4m for Will Grigg, who only has one goal this term, shows that it isn’t all about spending money. As sides like Luton have shown in the past, a simple togetherness and team unity is all it takes. Perhaps Sunderland should take a leaf out of the book of some of the more organised sides to get out of League One.
“One thing is for sure, however, is that it would undoubtedly boost their promotion hopes, and potential added sums of money available in January could prove game-changing. 22 goals in 15 matches isn’t the best of returns so that’s an area they may possibly look to exploit. If they do so successfully, this moment could be the catalyst for the Black Cats.
“Aston Villa were boosted by investment at the beginning of 2018/19 and ultimately reaped the rewards, achieving promotion from the Championship. That being said, although adding monetary value to a club may seem wise, it doesn’t always have the desired impact. Whatever they do end up investing, they must be wise and cautious with it.”
“On the face of it, a £10m boost should be of significant benefit to a third-tier club, but it will only prove beneficial if the club is managed well on and off the pitch.
“Stewart Donald has previously stated that the club didn’t need financial help to get out of League One, yet he has had to sack a manager and finds his team eight points behind first-placed Wycombe Wanderers, whose success proves it is not all about money.
“Sunderland have struggled at times despite an ability to spend big and bring in the players they want, which would suggest not all is right.
“It may be a case that Jack Ross was simply the wrong man for the job, and time will tell if Phil Parkinson can turn things around. Should he do so, he will likely receive the backing he desires in January, and that’s why the money could end up proving valuable for a promotion push.”