MX23RW : Wednesday, August 15 20:57:35

Martin O'Neill: 'Sunderland relegation to League One is catastrophic'

O'Neill: 'Sunderland relegation catastrophic'
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Former Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill believes that their relegation to League One is "catastrophic" but hopes that new owners can inspire a recovery.

Former Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill has described their relegation to League One as "catastrophic" but is hopeful that the change in ownership could galvanise the ailing club.

The Black Cats will drop down to the third tier of English football next term for only the second time in their history after suffering back-to-back relegations.

However, owner Ellis Short has since revealed that a deal has been agreed to sell the club to a group led by Eastleigh chairman Stewart Donald, subject to approval.

"It is a great club and it has an absolutely fantastic support, no question about that," O'Neill told Sky Sports News.

"It's been a really frustrating time, it's been really frustrating for a number of seasons now. Staying in the Premier League seems to be what they were doing for a number of years and then they dropped out of it.

"And to go right through, it's just catastrophic. However, I think they are capable of coming back up and I have no doubt, if there are new owners, they will have that expectation and ambition to drive on again. It is probably a good time to take over."

Chris Coleman was sacked as Sunderland manager on Sunday, prior to the takeover deal being announced.

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A general shot of a Premier League football ahead of the Premier League clash between Everton and West Ham United at Goodison Park on October 30, 2016
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