It's only mid-April but the football summer starts earlier than normal this year thanks to the World Cup. And like many Sunderland supporters, I'm 'over' relegation already - given that the drop has looked certain for weeks.
So, as a man of simple desires, all I'd like from my club before next term starts, is a decent 'red-and-white' shirt, some proper pre-season preparation for once and new owners to be in place come August.
State of it 😣
It isn't much to ask right? A little pride restored for once and some semblance of a plan to attack the new season in League One on the front foot. Supporters finally pulling in the same direction behind a regime they can believe in after years of angst and apathy must be any new owner's goal.
The shirt might not matter to some but given the horror of this season's red-and-white home top, the restoration of some proper stripes would signal the restoration of some regard for supporter's opinion at least. No longer should fans be made to cringe each time their team emerges from the Stadium of Light tunnel in a strip that resembles a deck chair / butcher's apron.
And it would be nice if the club could organise some proper way to launch the kit this time as well. A live facebook reveal greeted the awful home top's unveil before the stream crashed half way through but nothing could prepare for us for the true cringe to come. Launching the away kit with a photo taken at York station was bizarre but sending some poor sod down the mine at Beamish to sit in the third top was bloody awful. 'Our future is rooted in our history'? No ta.
A miner prepares for his shift down the pit wearing an Adidas football top - bizarre; Image: Sunderland AFC
And when you think back - when was the last time Sunderland had a 'proper' pre-season? You know, the type that involves a few testing games involving the players and systems which will be utilised in the campaign upcoming.
If last year's domestic round of fixtures was an improvement on previous summers, the fact that the pre-season games at venues such as Hibs and Livingston were used to put the likes of Wahbi Khazri and Jeremain Lens in the shop window did a disservice to Simon Grayson's plans to kick off the new campaign.
That awful afternoon in which Celtic came to town helped no one either and was memorable in footballing terms only for the thrashing dished out and our first introduction to the butter hands of Jason Steele. Previous years involving tours of France and North America appeared to neither aid the players in either gaining fitness or preparation for the upcoming league campaign.
And you'll really struggle to find a Sunderland fan who hopes Ellis Short is still in sole charge of the club when the League One campaign kicks off. The damage done by this current regime will be long-lasting and take some time for new owners to repair. Thousands of match going fans have abandoned the club and the potential lost generation of young fans who don't want to be dragged to the SoL any longer is unforgivable.
What makes all of the above all the more ridiculous of course, is that fans of most teams literally take for granted the simple levels of adequate management that makes each of the above happen at the clubs they support. Perhaps it really is only when you go through a period of horrible decline as we have, that you wake up one day, shake your head and realise what you're seeing simply isn't right. Enough now.