Blame Game Has To End Before Congerton Speaks

Alex Livesey

Plenty of people have an opinion on just who is to blame for the current mess at our football club. But now isn't the time to hear more excuses from a fresh voice...

If you've read Roker Report recently, then you'll have probably noticed a number of opinion pieces venting frustration, trying to work out what problems are or even suggesting solutions to said problems. When you get beaten week in week out for nigh on two seasons, and it feels like longer, it brings out anger and frustration in even the most placid of Sunderland supporters.

The anger is vented in all directions when things are going wrong. People want answers. People feel they need to know why. When they don't, that's when the blame begins. It's Poyet's fault. It's Bruce's fault. It's Di Canio's fault etc. I could go on, the list is endless. The 'culprits' names could fill a section on the 'Wall of Fame' on the Stadium of Light exterior. I'll have blamed everyone under the sun myself at some point, no doubt about that.

Most recently, the finger has been pointed towards the people at the top. To be fair, this is only natural They run the show. When you're losing with the regularity that we do, you get bored of blaming the same people whilst searching wearily for answers. Margaret Byrne and Ellis Short are fair game at the moment. Short is often conspicuous by his absence when it comes to sound bites which probably doesn't help his situation.

When we come to Margaret Byrne, the main point of fans ire seems to stem from her rather unfortunate quote from March last year:

"Of course you could be a profitable club and sell your best players, but it's a relegation model. We want to keep our assets and not sell them."

The more you look at that, the worse it reads. We sold our best players in the summer, didn't replace them and struggled. I bet she'll regret she ever said those words with hindsight in mind. But, at the same time, what else can she say?

There seems to be a clamour for our new Sporting Director, Lee Congerton, to come out and speak. People are demanding more answers from Margaret Byrne and Ellis Short. But, if they're going to say things that will only serve to come back and bite them on the backside, do we need to hear from them at all? Do we want to hear the truth? Do we need to know the truth?

If Margaret Byrne had come out in the summer and said something like:

"Of course you could be a profitable club and sell your best players, but then if that's what the management team wants to do in order to generate transfer funds, then so be it. We've got a set up in place to make sure we get best value for money. Paolo and Roberto are going to replace the players we sell with better value, quality players. We have to back the manager as best we can, within the affordable budget."

There's no way on earth people would accept that. Especially after how poor our recent transfer forays have been. Of course, she could say a number of other things. That's just an example. But it would be picked apart and analysed and used as a proverbial stick to beat somebody with. That's just the nature of the beast.

A lot of people seem to be really irritated by Byrne's role in the whole situation. Personally, I don't know enough about what she has or hasn't done to know if she's worth blaming. We might no more when the dust settles on the season, and Mr De Fanti can eventually come out and speak.

I'm not defending nor criticising anyone here, by the way. Everyone has their own views and they're entitled to share/vent in whichever way they see fit.

So coming onto Lee Congerton, is now really the time for him to be coming out and talking about his role and his remit? Do supporters really want to be told that he knows that the problems are, he knows where we've gone wrong and he'll do his best to redress them, that he's got to do X, Y and Z to rebuild the squad depending on whether we stay up or go down? Nothing anybody says can repair the situation. In my opinion, at this stage, it can only be inflamed.

Some people have suggested that somebody needs to come out just to take the pressure of Gus Poyet a touch. Again, I'd disagree here. It's been very tough for Gus in recent weeks for a number of reasons. Some of which the problems he's endured have been self created. But he's a big boy and the manager of the club. Part of his role is to take the heat in these situations, in my opinion. For the good of the club, he has to weather the storm and get us through to the summer, regardless of which division we reside in come fixture release day.

Then is the time to hear from Congerton. When we know where we are, he knows what the firm plan is and he can come out and be as honest as he possibly can about it. Then if it doesn't work, we'll no doubt rip him to bits about it in the future. That's just how it works. It's the nature of the game. I think the last thing anybody needs at this stage is another scapegoat. I just want to see an eventual solution to the problem. Another person to poke with a stick at this point in time just isn't that appealing to me.

As I've mentioned before this disaster has been three years in the making and everybody involved is culpable to different extents. I don't think there's much point in hearing the same stuff from someone who hasn't even began the job he was brought in to do as of yet. Further to that, I don't see how much good it would do for our severely wounded club and support.

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