Sunderland fans during the Sky Bet Championship match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland.

Sunderland AFC are preparing for their first season since 1987-88, and their second season ever, in the third tier of English football.

It will come as no surprise therefore that the mood around the Stadium of Light before the weekend’s game against Wolves was solemn.

Despite the (hopefully) seismic changes that are going to take place on Wearside over the summer, many fans were feeling simply grateful that the season was coming to a close as kick-off approached.

“It’s been shocking in every way, I can’t really still take it in to be honest, but it’s just been coming with how the club has been ran the past few years.”

Lewis’s immediate referral to the boardroom at the club when discussing their downward trajectory was just the first of many who felt that their club has been grossly mishandled.

Season-ticket holder Tom said he “didn’t feel connected to the people who ran a club they didn’t understand.”

Apathy may be a strong word, however it has become draining for even the most vociferous supporters to be emotionally invested in a team that produced just three home wins all season.

During the game, Sunderland put in a commendable performance (admittedly in a match that had only pride at stake), and at full-time they had six academy players on the pitch.

A 3-0 win to deny Wolves a 100-point season gave the 28,452 in attendance something to cheer for as the Sunderland players departed, almost sheepishly, down the tunnel.

As fans left the ground for the final time this season, some were starting to voice cautious hopes for the months ahead.

Carol said: “We played with a bit of pride today, and seeing some young lads out there gave me a bit of hope that it’s a sign of change.”

As the prospective ownership group, led by Eastleigh owner Stewart Donald, reportedly nears an official takeover, hope is at least somewhere to be found.

“We’ve had a diabolical season, maybe the worst I’ve seen,” lifelong supporter Peter told me, “but right now the club has to change to survive, maybe that will be what forces the club into stability.”