Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn says manager Roy Keane's players will be better for their first season in the Premiership.
"As for the players who are already at the club and who come through this first, difficult year, I think it will stand them in good stead," Quinn told the Sunderland Echo.
"Dean Whitehead is our captain but he has had a bad year with injuries, so has Carlos Edwards and Kieran Richardson but next year they will be raring to go again.
"Andy Reid has been phenomenal since he arrived at the club - he is delivering on the promise he has shown for years and that everyone knows he has.
"So there's a lot more than just business reasons as to why next year will be better for us."