Sunderland have been in sixth position in the Premier League for 3-4 weeks now and are four points clear of Bolton in seventh position .
Their form in the first half of the season has given the Black Cats a great chance of qualifying for the Europa League and Sunderland fans have not seen their team play in Europe for 38 years .
The derby game against Newcastle at the Stadium of Light last weekend was the most important game of the season for Sunderland as they attempted to avenge the horrific 5-1 defeat to their arch rivals in October and Sunderland only had two fit forwards available in the squad , with no forward on the substitutes bench . For the club to then go and sell Darren Bent the only established and fit forward at the club with no replacement lined up is astonishing and a complete kick in the teeth for all Sunderland fans .
Darren Bent has enjoyed an amazingly successful time at Sunderland with 24 Premier League goals last season and 8 so far this season .
With Danny Wellbeck possibly out for a further six weeks the only forward the Club currently have is Asamoah Gyan who has overall been very disappointing since his £13M move in the summer .
Furthermore because Sunderland already have two Premier League players on loan (Nedum Onuoha and Danny Welbeck) they cannot take another loan player unless it is from abroad .
With 12 days of the January transfer window left the club have put money before success and sold their star player leaving themselves desperately searching for a stop gap replacement .
The Club cannot claim it had no choice but to sell Bent , he had asked for assurances about his position and a new contract , perfectly reasonable requests when you have scored 24 goals in the Premier League . Who can blame Darren Bent for doubling his wages from £40k to £80k a week .
Sunderland FC have made £8M profit on the sale of their biggest asset at a crucial time in the season which will almost certainly inflict a fatal blow on their chances of bringing European football to the Stadium of Light .
It is interesting to compare the reaction of Manchester United when Wayne Rooney asked for a transfer . Man Utd are top of the Premier League because they take a long term view , they were never going to sell one of their top strikers .
Sadly Sunderland took the short term view , saw the money and grabbed it , worry about the consequences later ! .
A sad day for long suffering fans .