That’s right, an overwhelming 62% of the 711 votes cast on our Twitter page weren’t confident of the club being able to bring much needed fresh faces into our mangy, tattered squad.
It seems a fair statement to say that 711 responses provides a relatively comprehensive insight into the collective mind of our fanbase. And for the fans to voice their perturbations about the club’s ability to be active during this transfer window provides a telling account of our current feelings toward the club’s hierarchy.
How confident are you that Sunderland are going to bring in new players in this January transfer window?— Roker Report (@RokerReport) January 11, 2017
In recent weeks we’ve spoken about the club’s current financial predicament, and that money will be tight due to a fatal concoction of fiscal idiocy and surrendering ourselves to FFP regulations. However, our musings haven’t been the only indications that something isn’t quite right with the club’s economics.
In fact CEO, Martin Bain, also came out and announced that the purse strings would indeed be tight this month. In a candid interview with the club’s website during December, Bain was forthright with his estimations of Sunderland’s ability to splash the cash.
How much money will there be? The word I would use is ‘limited’. I could probably say ‘very limited’ with regards to the January transfer window.
We’ve gone into some detail exploring Bain’s comments, and whether hope can still exist in such a sea of stark realism. Ultimately, we came to the conclusion that our fate lies in Martin Bain and David Moyes’ ability to potentially sell valuable first-team players in order to free funds which could then be used to invest in new faces. Easier said than done.
However, despite the affirmations that there is a long-term plan in place to help the club rebuild, fans seemingly have little belief that Bain and co. will be able to broaden the squad’s paper-thin depth during this window.
Their reservations may well be grounded in reason, as Bain has further hinted that buying this window with such little time to thoroughly scout players could further enhance the problems found in the counting room.
Then there is the aspect of where the club in recent years has reached a point where we can’t keep having this short-term fix because it just keeps coming back full circle.
The other aspect is that David and I have only been here a handful of months, and when you are looking at the acquisition of players, you want to do the right kind of diligence. You really want to get it right.
Bain’s words seem to suggest that there is a veritable mistrust in any manager’s ability to carefully manage player purchases. Is this a case of the club having their fingers burned, and being unwilling to play with fire? Or is this a calculated move aimed at preventing further calamity on the road to redemption?
Ultimately, our poll has revealed that there appears to be several key issues facing the club right now that need to be remedied as swiftly as possible.
Firstly, it would appear that the club’s attempts at a more transparent PR agenda could well be backfiring. Despite some acceptance that being given the bitter as well as the better is ultimately a good thing - the timings of said notifications have left a lot to be desired. Bain’s acknowledgement that the club are floundering financially was released just over two weeks before the start of the January transfer window - talk about the season of good will and all that.
Subsequently, despite the fact that it’s refreshing to have a CEO so frank and open with the fans, there is also an element of the club perhaps opening Pandora’s box with their forthright information campaign.
Resignation and pessimism seem to be creeping into the fans’ minds, and whilst January would be all the harder slogging through the window with a hope that perhaps, just perhaps, we might open the cheque-book - ultimately knowing there is little chance of splashing any sort of cash isn’t exactly an easy pill to swallow.
Bain and co. have put themselves between a real rock and a hard-place. Damned if they do, and damned if they don’t. The Chief Exec has clearly decided that honesty is the best policy; however, the rather discouraging news of recent weeks hasn’t done much to reassure fans that all will be well.
Instead it would appear that more and more fans are feeling apathetic and disenfranchised with the club’s current situation. Indeed what do we have to cheer about off the field? Bain’s bleak reality has left us all feeling rather deflated, and it’s worrying to see so many people despondent in their estimations of the club’s ability to attract new players. Could this melancholy creep into the SoL should results go against us? Could a collective angst be bubbling just beneath the surface, ready to erupt should the situation further deteriorate?
It’s a tricky situation to be in: do you hope beyond hope that all will be well? Or do you accept the cold, hard facts and expect very little from the club you adore? 62% of you seem to have chosen the latter; let us know what you think.