John McCormick, associate editor, writes: things have quietened down with our ‘who to follow’ poll, as we might expect. Portsmouth, Sunderland and Ipswich are clear leaders, with not much between them, after which we have Rotherham and Peterborough. Then comes Coventry, followed at a distance by Donny, Lincoln and Burton.

That’s interesting because on Wednesday over at  Roker Report, Nick Barnes, who knows more about football than I ever will,  identified Lincoln and Burton as teams that could mount a challenge to Sunderland, along with Ipswich, Portsmouth, Peterborough and Coventry. He didn’t mention Rotherham.

I could extend our watch list to eight clubs, even nine on the grounds that Donny are ahead of Lincoln and Burton in our poll, and I have added clubs during the season – Luton last season being the most recent – but it makes graphics difficult to follow. So I’m going to stick with six.

I don’t think any of Burton, Lincoln or Doncaster will catch Coventry, or any of the five clubs doing even better but it’s not impossible.

The poll will remain open until the season starts but as it disappears down our home page we get fewer and fewer votes cast and teams tend not to move up or down. A concerted effort, however, can move clubs, especially as numbers this season are low.

I must say that any skulduggery – such as that from the Coventry Ninjas last season – will be discounted and we’ll go with what we had before it took place. In respect of that, I do intend to make live results visible some time before the season kicks off. For now, though, you’ll have to wait for the next post to see if there have been changes.

If you haven’t already done so there’s still time to let us know who you think will make the playoffs or better. Just choose your six (or fewer) choices from the list on the left.

Results to Date:

If you want to get an idea of what’s going on you can visit the first post in the current series or some from the previous season:

The bookies say Sunderland, Barnsley, Charlton, Portsmouth, Luton and Scunthorpe. What about you?

Coventry hanging on to Doncaster and Charlton as Portsmouth chase Barnsley, Sunderland and Luton.

Luton then Barnsley, Sunderland, Portsmouth, Charlton and Doncaster? Who knows?

There are other posts in the series as I revisited it at times throughout the season – most often when there was downtime in the fixtures. To find them all you can follow the generic dodgy numbers link:

McCormick’s Dodgy Numbers

That link will also take you to my most recent close-season rambles, which take a look at the finances and situations of our League One rivals and which ended at Bury, where things are  still up in the air.


McCormick’s Dodgy Numbers. The arithmetic’s correct, it’s just the rest could be a bit wonky

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

4 Responses to “Promotion poll: Sunderland vie with Portsmouth but can Burton, Lincoln or Doncaster make top six?” Subscribe

  1. Mike Murray-Smith July 19, 2019 at 8:38 am #

    An interesting discussion. Theres seem to be a consencus of opinion along the Sunderland, Portsmouth and Ipswich axis. i am not so sure; yes, they are the biggest clubs in the league by far, but that brings pressure.Ipswich didn’t tear up any trees last season and their recruitment isn’t that strong. I also believe that there is no such thing as relegation bounce! Portsmouth have sold Lowe (who I think will be a big loss) and Sunderland have to carry that weight of expectation (or even the demand) of success.
    Every season there is a surprise and resurgence of Blackpool might be the wild card. Nevertheless, I expect two of the three already mentioned (Sunderland and Portsmouth) to be there or there about but I expect Coventry and Peterborough to be running them very close.

    • John Mac July 19, 2019 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks for your post. I’m not to far away from you when it comes to thinking about Blackpool and Ipswich. You might find these posts from my recent financial ramblings interesting. I did expect Blackpool to be higher in our poll than they are but it looks like few of their fans have visited our site so far.

      https://salutsunderland.com/2019/06/from-accrington-through-coventry-to-lincoln-how-do-sunderlands-rivals-shape-up-financially/

      https://salutsunderland.com/2019/06/just-blackpool-and-bolton-the-financial-ramble-continues-without-bury-or-sunderland/

      incidentally, Doncaster aren’t that far from Coventry in our poll. They could yet catch them.

      • Stuart July 19, 2019 at 2:28 pm #

        Gréât site and always a good read. As a Donny fan I think the comments are fair at this time of pre-season. The only way to tell is after 10 then 22 games. Not much changes around the top 8/9 after New Year’s Day and the dye is normally cast. Playing budget should and normally does equate to corresponding success but in league one smart recruitment and team togetherness are probably more valuable than the size of any given chèque book. The real challenge (once promotion is gained) is retaining and recruiting to try and stay in the Championship. Appreciate that’s getting ahead of us all but hope springs eternal at this time of year. Good luck to all teams, let’s hope for better luck if we (Sunderland and Donny) have to endure the playoffs again.

  2. YSYL July 21, 2019 at 8:28 pm #

    I think Blackpool could surprise after the positive changes that have happened there.
    However, no pressure, but SAFC should walk this league after the experience gained last season.
    The players and management must have learned how to cope with the retro 70’s attitudes of the Coventry / Portsmouth hooligan fans and players and how to manipulate the useless referees in this league.
    Sort that and we should be home and dry before season ends.

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