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Fan Letters: Ellis Short’s ‘house’ has fallen into disrepair - he doesn’t want to pay to fix it

Roker Report reader Tom Albrighton gives us his take on the sorry state Sunderland find themselves in, and it seems we’re just like a poorly renovated house.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

What have Sunderland really become?

I work in houses, literally every day. New builds, houses from the 20’s, some with more bathrooms than I have rooms in my house. It may seem an odd starting point, but that’s what I think sums up where Sunderland are under Short’s ownership, so without further ado, let me share my analogy.

When Ellis Short purchased Sunderland, we were an attractive proposition of sorts, we were a 3 bedroom, semi-detached that, from the outside, just needed a bit of TLC.

Now, when you do anything to a house, I regularly tell customers: you get what you pay for, you don’t get silk for the same price as cotton. This is where it all started to unravel for Short. He bought Sunderland, the house in this instance, feeling that the foundations were stable, all it needed was a new kitchen & a lick of paint, his budget could be stretched, but this was always a long term investment. Instead, what has transpired is an unholy mess.

At first, the kitchen and a lick of paint did the trick; we looked good but without any real substance. It was all cosmetic work that was done.

Then Short got the knock at the door, the doomed De Fanti, the door to door cowboy salesman, flogging Short a new roof and double glazing that he didnt need. Before you know it, Short had forked out more than he wanted, thinking he was getting a job well done.

Instead, what De Fanti did to Sunderland was put the roof on the wrong way round and forgot to seal the windows. To put this right it was going to need another tradesman. Instead, Short, bereft of trust, waited, dillied & dallied while hoping a new salesman would come knocking. All the while the wind tore through and the rain poured in. Before Short had an idea where he was, his house of Sunderland was riddled with damp & falling apart.

Now, I get there’s a lot of analogy in there to take in, but you can join the dots yourself and match the moments to the house.

What’s really sad is where we’re at now. Ellis Short’s house is in a state of total disrepair, and Martin Bain has knocked on the door offering to fix the roof & the windows, but he’s also noticed that the bathroom needs remodeling, the kitchen’s ruined, the entire interior needs re-plastering, and believe it or not the exterior needs re-pointing as well.

Now, I’ve seen this before and I think it rings true with Short and the house he’s bought. With only the best intentions in mind, somebody has bought a house - a project where not much needed doing on the surface - something they could transform with a little bit of vision and a chunk of cash. However because of bad advice, cowboy builders or just not being prepared, the house has needed triple the work and investment. The house - in this case Sunderland - has become nothing but a stark reminder to Short of failure and a lost fortune.

Simply put, Short now resents his house because of how much it’s cost him.

Where Short goes from here, only he knows. It seems that Sunderland is now the mortgage he can’t afford to keep. He either doesn’t have the money to fix these botched renovation attempts, or won’t invest due to despair.

So, it’s clear that eventually the bailiffs will come knocking, or somebody somewhere loves a challenge and wants to take on the house in its current state of disrepair knowing they have the knowledge and finances to turn it into the glistening 3-bedroom semi that Short couldn’t complete.

One thing is for certain though, the fans are the foundations, and whatever happens above the ground, those foundations won’t budge an inch. The house of Sunderland will always be there - one way or another.

Tom Albrighton

Sunderland v Burnley - Premier League
Ellis Short’s house - it’s fallen into disrepair.
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Grayson is a dithering idiot.

I read RR’s press conference report and I could not believe what I was reading, so I had to watch it for myself to make sure some of the stuff you had written hadn’t been made up!

His comments on ‘improving the club’, on how he’s ‘the best man for the job’ and other assorted madness made my head hurt.

Even if we avoid defeat tonight he must go. Nobody but the man himself believes he’s capable of turning this almighty mess around.

Angela Dodds