Sunderland’s Black Cats

Sunderland Association Football Club has won six English top flight titles since its formation in 1879.  The Black Cats have also won the FA Cup twice, in 1937 and 1973, and they were also Football League Cup runners-up twice in 1985 and in 2014.  Sunderland have a long-standing rivalry with their north east neighbours Newcastle United with whom they contest the Tyne-Wear derby. 

The club had their first taste of the Premier League in the mid-1990s and became something of a yo-yo club dividing their time between the elite league and the second-tier.  However since 2007’s promotion under Roy Keane they have managed to preserve their Premier League status.  The Stadium of Light became their home ground after they moved from Roker Park in 1997. 

They finished in 14th position last season under their Uruguayan manager Gus Poyet, who replaced Paolo Di Canio before the halfway mark of the campaign.  Poyet’s side will play in a new ‘sharp blue’ away kit this season while they will use their traditional red and white striped shirts for home games.  Jack Rodwell from Manchester City was the club’s top signing for £10 million after he penned a five year deal with the club.

The club also signed Jordi Gomez, Billy Jones and Costel Pantilimon all on free transfers while Patrick Van Aanholt was signed for an undisclosed amount.  Phil Bardsley, Jack Colback, Craig Gardner, Billy Knott, Louis Laing, Craig Lynch, David Vaughan and Keiren Westwood were all released by the club as free agents.  John Egan, Scott Harrison and Jordan Pickford were loaned out for the next season. 

Sunderland will play an away game against West Bromwich Albion in their opening contest of the season on the 16th of August.