Sunderland owner Ellis Short has opened up for the first time on the club's relegation battle, saying: "I'm to blame."
The American billionaire appointed Paolo Di Canio in late March with the club hovering just above the relegation places, and they claimed two wins and two draws from their final eight games to avoid the drop.
Over the summer, Sunderland made 14 signings, but the new arrivals have not had the desired effect and Di Canio was sacked after picking up just one point from the club’s opening five games.
The club’s predicament has yet to improve, with caretaker boss Kevin Ball unable to take any points from his two Premier League games in charge, and Gus Poyet suffered a 4-0 defeat at Swansea City in his first match as the new permanent manager.
Writing in the programme notes ahead of home clash with Newcastle on Sunday, Short accepted that he had made mistakes that have left Sunderland in danger.
"With the euphoria from our successful survival fight at the end of last season and the optimism surrounding our preseason, we could never have imagined in our worst nightmare being in the position we are in now," Short said.
"The club has been in turmoil as a result of the change of head coach so early in the season. I have to take the blame for that. Clearly at least one of the decisions I made over the last several months was the wrong one. "
Short is confident that Poyet will soon bring about an upturn in results, writing: "I believe this period of uncertainty is now over with the appointment of Gus Poyet. Gus has been very successful in achieving steady progress in his time in charge of Brighton & Holve Albion.
"Gus's challenge at Sunderland is to establish stability, get what I consider to be a good squad of players together as a cohesive unit and to begin fighting our way back up the table. This will have to be a steady, one game at a time recovery."