This summer promises to be an interesting one at Sunderland following their relegation to the Championship.
The Black Cats finished dead last, winning just six matches, and must now find a new manager following David Moyes’ resignation on Monday afternoon.
And a new star man could be in order, too, following reports from Sky Sports that Jermain Defoe is in talks with Bournemouth over a move.
Moyes, in a statement on Sunderland’s website, said: “I would like to thank (chairman) Ellis Short and the Board for giving me the opportunity to manage Sunderland and the fans for always being so passionately supportive of their club.
“I wish the players and my successor well in their efforts towards promotion back to the Premier League.”
The bookmakers’ favourite to replace Moyes, according to the Mirror, is the man who replaced him on an interim basis at Manchester United in 2014, Ryan Giggs.
Relegation confirmed last month
Sunderland’s relegation to the second tier of English football was confirmed in April when the were beaten by Bournemouth.
Moyes called it “my worst day in football”, but it had been coming for some time. Sunderland invested poorly in the summer and failed to resemble anything like a close-knit group.
The ultimate embarrassment came on the final day of the season, when Sunderland’s players were made to be a part of John Terry’s special farewell at Chelsea.
Moyes revealed after Sunderland’s 5-1 defeat that the club had agreed to kick the ball out on the 26th minute to ensure Terry could be substituted in the minute that matched his number. Humiliating.
Two players refused to play vs Chelsea
And for an idea of just how chaotic the situation was inside the dressing room, there are allegations that two Sunderland players refused to play against Sunderland.
Former Sunderland player Michael Gray told Sky Sports News that centre-back Lamine Kone was one of two players who refused to show up, while the other went unnamed.
Kone wasn’t included in the squad but the Ivory Coast international was also said to have suffered from a dead leg earlier in the week.
"Yeah they did (refuse to play), which I found really shocking when you have a contract at a football club," Gray said on Sky Sports, per the Express.
"When you have inside info from people like that and you have players knocking on the manager's door saying they don't want to play it tells you what kind of state the football club is in.
"That's got nothing to do with David, if the players come up to him and say they don't want to play then they don't deserve to be at the football club in the first place.
"One of them was Lamine Kone, who there was a lot of speculation about in the summer, he had his head turned by Everton.
"I'm not quite sure who the other player was but I definitely know there were two players who were knocking on David's door.”
What a shambles. The fans deserve an explanation.