THIS summer, Sunderland supporters will be able to relive the events of the last nine months courtesy of a documentary that will be screened on Netflix. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but presumably the as-yet-untitled programme will be filed under the category ‘Horror’.

Ellis Short agreed to grant extensive access to production company Fulwell73, run by three lifelong Sunderland fans, last summer, presumably to help raise his club’s profile in lucrative markets overseas. The plan, no doubt, was that the subsequent film would chronicle a triumphant march back to the Premier League.

The reality, when it airs this summer, is likely to be somewhat different, but Sunderland have previous form when it comes to television documentaries taking on a life on their own.

Back in the 1996-97 season, “Premier Passions”, a five-part documentary that was screened on BBC One, delivered a warts-and-all look at life at Roker Park. It also featured a relegation, although Sunderland’s performances on the field are not the abiding memory of the programme.

Instead, Peter Reid’s industrial language hogged the headlines, and for all that he has had plenty of reasons to swear himself in the last six months, Chris Coleman hopes he is portrayed rather more sympathetically than his foul-mouthed predecessor in the Sunderland hot-seat.

“Have I been swearing? I don’t really know to be honest,” said the Black Cats boss. “I don’t think I have been, but judging from that reaction, I don’t know. I’ll be in a bit of trouble with my mother if there’s too much swearing.

“I hope I haven’t come across like that. Football’s strange. You’re training every day, and sometimes you can get a bit aggressive and you can lose it a little bit and go over the top. You can see I’m trying to build a story and get my excuses in already. I actually didn’t think I had been swearing, but who knows? I’ll be disappointed if it comes across like that.”

Coleman was in a jocular mood as he discussed the ongoing filming with a microphone hanging over him and a host of cameras trained at his face, but there is a serious side to the relentless attention that has come Sunderland’s way this season.

Has the constant presence of a camera affected the way Coleman has treated his players, or made the players themselves reluctant to act spontaneously or vent their true feelings?

With his side rooted to the foot of the Championship table ahead of this afternoon’s critical relegation battle with Burton Albion, Coleman is understandably reluctant to voice anything that could be construed as an attempt to make excuses.

However, he clearly harbours strong reservations about the current arrangement, which he inherited as a fait accompli when he agreed to replace Simon Grayson in November.

“I can’t say I’m 100 per cent comfortable with it,” he said. “The thing is with people in football, the minute you put a camera in our face, we think ‘media’ and we get guarded. That’s just how it is. We’re on one side, and they’re on the other.

“It has been a little but unnatural for us to have the cameras here most days. But that was decided before I arrived so there was nothing I could do about it. The only thing I really dug my heels in about was that I didn’t want any filming in my dressing room. That’s been kept separate. But the chairman agreed to the documentary at the start of the season, so that’s the way it is.

“We’re not used to it. We’re not used to that happening. Normally, training is private. You might have one day with a bit of filming from the club, but that’s the boys who are here every day and who work with us so we know them. They’re just like us really. It is different when you’ve got a documentary that is being made about the club.”

Coleman is looking forward to seeing the finished result, although he admits it could prove a difficult watch given the extent of Sunderland’s struggles this season.

As things stand, there are no plans to make a follow-up, but Coleman might push for a second series if it means an opportunity to film much happier times.

“It’s probably been hard for them too because it’s been such a tough, negative season,” he said. “They’re scratching round trying to get this and that from us, and we’re very guarded.

“I really don’t know how this documentary is going to look to be honest, they might have to do a two-part series I think. The first part will be this year, and maybe there’ll be a better one the next year.”