To suggest sacking a manager just six points off the automatic promotion spots would be slightly harsh.
However, when assessing Sunderland it merely seems common practise.
Phil Parkinson was unable to get the Black Cats promoted last season and indeed, it would appear that the former Bradford boss is struggling again.
Sunderland are eight points off top spot and any thought of gaining entry to the Championship automatically is already fading.
In simple terms, it sums up what Sunderland have become. This is a team who at the very least should be competing at the top of the Championship. If you look at their facilities and stadium you’d instantly assume they were a Premier League outfit.
The reality, though, is that they’re languishing in the third tier of English football.
So what has to change? Well the arrival of Juan Sartori and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus could give the business side some fresh ideas and impetus.
However, it will be no easy task. It’s already been reported that Dreyfus is not aware of the financial complications at Sunderland and thus, he could be in for quick a shock once he gets his hands on the keys to the club.
Things could be worsened with a move for Nigel Pearson, someone linked with the north-east club this week. The former Watford boss was described as “incredible” by Pep Guardiola for the work he did last season in nearly keeping the Hornets up and has a reputation for getting teams promoted, both as a player and as manager.
He achieved it twice with Leicester, taking them from League One to the Premier League and that’s the kind of experience Stewart Donald will be lusting for.
That being said, it would surely be nothing short of a huge financial gamble to bring him to the Stadium of Light. The fact of the matter is that they’d presumably have to give Pearson a pretty hefty pay packet.
After taking the Foxes to the top-flight, it was claimed that Pearson wanted to take his £750k-a-year salary to £3m-per-annum. That would have been an absurd £57k-a-week. Clearly, he is used to taking jobs on for a comfortable salary.
Even if he replicated the £750,000 annually he received in the Midlands at Sunderland, it would mean that Donald or Dreyfus would have to pay him just over £14k-a-week.
For context, Sunderland defender Bailey Wright is currently on £13k-a-week so it seems manageable. However, it’s important to remember that Pearson’s latest job was in the Premier League, a role where he earned £1m in bonuses alone when he left Watford.
This seems like too much of a financial burden and if Sunderland brought him in before the takeover is done, Dreyfus would be walking into nothing short of a financial disaster.
One of the most important things Sunderland have thought about in the last 18 months is the sustainability of the football club from a financial point of view.
On the pitch, Pearson would more than likely deliver results but if the Mackems fail in terms of promotion again, it would not have been worth the risk on spending so much.
Donald has already taken a gamble on Will Grigg which didn’t work out. He needs to make sure he doesn’t take the same financial punt once again.