It may very well go one of two ways for Sunderland in the foreseeable future. If they fail to get promoted back to the Championship at the first time of asking this season there is a great chance that they may completely fall off the grid and get lost in the realms of difficult League 1 football.
They will almost definitely lose the likes of Aiden McGeady and maybe even Lee Cattermole. George Honeyman and McGeady, in particular, are at least solid Championship players who have powered Sunderland into a probable place in the League One play-off competitions this season.
If they fail to get promoted and lose these types of players, the club will have to completely re-build and will no longer be able to attract talented players with the promise of at least Championship football.
However, on the flip side, if Sunderland do prevail this season and reach the Championship, they are definitely a force to be reckoned with.
The last good Premier League team to fall victim to back-to-back relegations was Wolverhampton Wanderers. Look at them now. Like Wolves, Sunderland are a big club with a good young manager, talented players and a huge and loyal fanbase.
If Sunderland do get promoted, it wouldn’t be surprising if a similar thing happened at the Stadium of Light.
McGeady, Honeyman, Cattermole, Tom Flanagan, Bryan Oviedo and Max Power would all cut it in the Championship and would ensure a bit of security for their team that has been anything but secure for many years.
This combined with recent talk that Sunderland may be taken over by a Chinese consortium may mean that a wealth of income may boost the side as it did Wolves in their most recent season in the Championship.
Good players who have nothing to lose combined with a new takeover, more money and a recent promotion is enough to give any club a huge boost which is why Sunderland could become a team to be feared in years to come.
Of course, this all means nothing if they fail to get promoted this season.