2019-20: Rodwell reacts to EFL vote

Chief Executive Officer Jim Rodwell has expressed his disappointment following today’s announcement to end the 2019-20 Sky Bet League One season.

Sunderland AFC were just three points adrift of second place when the footballing calendar was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, but today’s vote confirmed the Black Cats will end the season in eighth.  

Missing out on the opportunity to play for promotion is a bitter pill to swallow for all associated with the club, including the players, staff and supporters.

But regardless of the extraordinary circumstances that led to today’s outcome, Rodwell admits the club must perform at a higher level - on and off the pitch - to ensure success is delivered during the 2020-21 season.

“Although we braced ourselves for today’s decision, we are incredibly disappointed by the outcome,” he explained.

“We were committed to finishing the season on the pitch and we made our stance perfectly clear throughout what has been an incredibly challenging period for every club within the EFL.”

He continued: “Ultimately, we now have to move forward.

“Our fans have been magnificent, and we know how much they, like the players and staff, will be hurting today. But it’s our supporters who have the set the standard over the last two seasons, following the team home and away in incredible numbers, and we have failed to match them.

“As a club, we have to strive to be better and ensure we learn from the mistakes we have made because regardless of the circumstances, finishing eighth in League One isn’t good enough and I don’t think anyone would tell you otherwise.

“Our sole focus moving forward must be to build a squad that is capable of winning this division next season. I have spoken to Phil Parkinson at length and we have a very clear idea of what we need to achieve that goal.

“It is our responsibility to put that plan into action immediately and ensure that whenever the 2020-21 season begins, we are ready.”

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