Probably the most illuminating insight in the entire second series of Sunderland 'Til I Die comes from Charlie Methven early in the second episode.

The Black Cats' new owners had not long been in charge but, with words that now read more like a prophecy, Methven said: "I think the people of Sunderland and the region and the fanbase have given Stewart [Donald] and I the benefit of the doubt, but I think it is on a pretty short lease.

"I think that if we don't get things right reasonably quickly, that benefit of the doubt will be withdrawn and will be replaced by very heavy scrutiny and a lot of pressure.

"This is the most intense crowd in the whole country, the whole of England, the most intense crowd.

"It's terrifying, there's no other way to describe it."

Methven goes on to create a positive impression at a meeting of the Seaham Branch as he spells out his and Donald's vision for the club and the size of the task ahead, but 18 months on Methven has stepped down from the board and the club is up for sale after fan groups joined together at Christmas time to urge Donald to hand over the reins.

But that's for another day, another episode - maybe even another series.

Charlie Methven (left, with owner Stewart Donald) has outlined his vision for Sunderland
Charlie Methven (L) with Sunderland owner Stewart Donald

Episode two of the Netflix documentary was really all about money.

The stark reality that underpinned Sunderland's double relegation was laid bare in the opening scenes when a helpful graphic points out that the average weekly wage for a Premier League footballer is £64,000 per week.

In the Championship, that drops to £14,000.

And in League One, it is £2,000.

Sunderland still had some of their big Premier League earners on the books, with Lee Cattermole, Bryan Oviedo, and Adam Matthews, among those who were bought in better times.

Leafing through the club's budget, Donald describes the club as 'the biggest mess of a business I have ever seen'.

He points out that on wages alone, the club paid out £46m in wages in their Championship relegation season.

In League One, Sunderland's entire income was projected to be £15.6m (a figure that does not include the parachute payment of around £35m).

At a meeting with head of operations Neil Fox, they list the costcutting measures they have introduced - £60,000 saved on pitch maintenance, travel and accommodation costs for the first team slashed from £424,000 to £109,000, and sports therapy costs down from £666,000 to £297,000.

The infamous cryotherapy chamber is mentioned here, with the £100,000 spent on that during Sam Allardyce's reign as manager - and now no longer used - cited as a prime example of the waste they inherited.

Sunderland could have decisions to make if bids come in for Lee Cattermole (left) and Josh Maja
Josh Maja (R) celebrates after scoring for Sunderland

But the thread that ran through the episode was Josh Maja's contract situation.

The teenager was shown banging in goals for fun as Sunderland challenged at the top end of the table, but the worry was that the academy graduate could leave for minimal compensation when his contract expired at the end of the season unless the club could negotiate a new deal with his agent.

Manager Jack Ross said Sunderland's circumstances meant the onus was on him to develop young players.

And Maja himself said he'd spoken to Ross soon after he took over and was told that he would stick with him and show confidence in him.

But already Donald was worrying about his young star having his head turned, and admitted: "Dealing with agents is the worst part of football."

By the end of the episode, Sunderland had made three offers and head of football operations Richard Hill was telling Donald they had reached their limit and he felt Maja's agent was driving the process and there was a chance he could push to move his client abroad and possibly earn £1m commission in the process.

Hill said: "This, for me, isn't about Josh Maja. It's 100 percent about his agent."

Donald asks why Maja would want to leave Sunderland where all the fans were singing his name, that's all anyone wanted when they were a kid growing up.

"Yeah, but football has changed," Hill replies.

Donald sums it up neatly: "So they're going to take him across the border for a tenth of his value and we're shafted..

"If Josh Maja leaves us, we're going to look like a bunch of numpties," he continues.

Meanwhile Maja is playing the wide-eyed innocent, and when asked about transfer speculation he says: "About who? Me?

"I don't really read newspapers like that.

"Interesting."

And of a new contract he adds: "It hasn't been sorted yet, no, but it's getting sorted, basically.

"I let my agent deal with all that."

We all know how that situation panned out and the impact it had on Sunderland's season, but the situation doesn't reach a head in episode two - presumably that treat lies ahead.

Stewart Donald

If the first episode was dominated by the flamboyant Methven, Donald was given more airtime in the second and there was some background on his support of Oxford United, and the way he wanted to run Sunderland which gave rise to the episode title.

"Dad was a massive Oxford United fan," said Donald. "When Oxford United were in the top flight it was fun to go, we took a couple of thousand fans everywhere.

"I loved that as a kid.

"Then I went onto the terraces and like everybody else you'd stand, you'd have the smell of cigarettes, the burgers, the Tuesday night games.

"But Oxford United became like every other football club that I saw. It all became about the finances and it just lost that feeling that you had in the 80s and the 90s.

"So getting involved in Sunderland gave me the chance to run a football club in what I perceived to be an old-fashioned way, whereby everyone would feel that they owned their football club again."

Donald comes across as likeable and sincere, if a little blown away by the size of the task he has taken on.

But with the team performing strongly, Maja scoring goals on a regular basis, and the January transfer window not yet in view, he is still enjoying something of a honeymoon period.

The real pressure is yet to come.