Sunderland legend Michael Gray has insisted that he has no doubts that the Black Cats are the right stature of club to be able to get themselves back to the Premier League in coming years under new owners.
The Black Cats are in the very early days of the ownership of Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, but there is renewed hope around the Stadium of Light now that things can improve over the next few years on and off the field. Lee Johnson has also timed a positive run form in line with the recent takeover with him having guided his side to five wins in their last six league matches.
That has raised hope that they could go on and secure a return to the Championship this season, after failing to go up in the last two campaigns under the old regime. The Black Cats are only five points adrift of the automatic promotion places so they might well be able to earn promotion to the Championship straight away under Louis-Dreyfus. That would be a major step in the right direction.
Speaking to The Football Faithful, Gray outlined that he believes that Sunderland’s stature should mean that they are able to eventually work themselves back into the Premier League under new owners. However, he called for patience from supporters in waiting to see if the funds can be spent wisely overtime to make that happen.
He said: “It’s a new takeover, I think everybody’s kind of excited about it. [But no one’s] kind of jumping in and thinking, right, this is it. We’re going to be a Premier League team again in about two or three years time. It’s not going to happen that way.
“It’s going to be a process of maybe even 10 years. Because we know how difficult we’ve found it to actually get ourselves out of League One. And then you’ve got the challenge of the Championship after that. So everybody’s got to be patient. But I think everybody’s optimistic and excited.”
He added: “With the fan base that we’ve got at the club, the stature that the club has had over the years, there’s no question in my mind that it’s a Premier League club again in the waiting,”
Sunderland is a club that for the first time in a long while finally seems like it is on the way upwards, rather than in decline. The Black Cats’ long-suffering supporters deserve the chance to see the team thriving once again on the field after years and years of frustration.
However, as Gray alludes to it will not be a quick fix process to get the club back where he feels it belongs, and it will take a lot of time and careful wise investment for them to get back to the Premier League. There is though the sense of optimism not felt for a long time around the football club.
Getting out of League One must be the first priority and if they can do that this season that would transform the planning of the new owners you feel. It would then give more money to invest in the side in the summer for the Championship. However, even if they do not go up this term, the investment should be in place for them to do so next time around.