It is difficult to see how Sunderland are going to escape relegation. Even in the old days of Division 1 and Division 2, Sunderland were a yo-yo club, but the financial consequences these days are more serious, not least for the staff who face redundancy.
Ellis Short, who is trying to sell the club, bought it for £22m. The club has not made a profit since 2006, way before Short arrived. Short has lent the club £160m during his tenure interest free, £100m of which he wrote off. Total debts are £140m. Sunderland owe money to Short and a private banking company, with a £6m annual interest payment.
Other clubs with less good catchment areas have managed to consolidate in the Premier League. Sunderland spent £250m on players between 2008 and 2015. Sunderland made a profit on only three out of 46 players they bought.
Relegation might lead to a sale and the opportunity to rebuild, but a long-term plan is needed.