Dear Roker Report,
Sunderland find themselves in the biggest crisis, well, since the last one.
We’ve got a bewildered fan base, resulting in dwindling attendances, a commonly held view that the current playing squad do not care and are certainly not fit for purpose, managers coming and going more frequently than anyone cares to remember and board room mistakes leading to further confusion and dead ends.
It would seem to be here, in the boardroom, that the biggest source of frustration lies, with club owner Ellis Short.
Ellis Short was introduced to Sunderland by the Drumaville consortium. The consortium, led by Niall Quinn, lifted the period of gloom surrounding the club at that time and has been popularised by fans as the ‘Irish uprising.’ With the club now very much in a similar situation at the time of Drumaville taking over, as to what it is now, an argument could be made that Ellis Short has now seen the club come full circle.
As part of the consortium, Short was perhaps the money man and few could argue that he has put his money into the club. This could at least afford Short a devil’s advocate defence, if nothing else.
Since taking sole control of Sunderland there is no doubt that it’s been a steady downhill spiral, gathering pace rapidly in recent times.
Can Short be held entirely to blame or have circumstances not fallen favourably for the Texan billionaire?
Few supporters would disagree that every manager Short has dispensed with should not have met that fate. As previously mentioned, Short has put his money in and each of those managers got funds to spend. Perhaps with the exception of the last permanent incumbent, Simon Grayson.
While knowing what he was taking on, there may not have been a full understanding by Short of how difficult it would be to attract quality players to the North East region.
As fans, we are maybe blinded by the light of how wonderful our club is. Short may well have offered the funds to every manager for every player they requested, but if those players don’t want to come and play for the club, how much accountability can Short be held to for that?
I’m certainly not suggesting that Short has not been a major contributing factor to the situation Sunderland find ourselves in.
I am fully accepting that the above points do not have much meat to the bones, but I have not set out to justify the current chairman’s actions over a period of time.
Everyone is entitled to a defence, even if in this case it is just a sweeping, broad ranging ‘devil’s advocate’ one.
Dear Roker Report,
For a long period of time during the Smith/Crosby/Buxton/Butcher and early Reidy years I was a home and away follower.
I lived and breathed Sunderland. It didn't matter that we were shit.
The memories of things like Gordon Armstrong’s header, and Johnny Byrne’s goal against Norwich in 92, the G-Force tearing it up; as a 15 year old I even got to play against Don Goodman, Shaun Cunnington and Gary Owers in a soccer school project... waiting outside of Roker Park to get the exclusive autograph from Keiron Brady on my program (cos he only used to sign one and f**k off), and them away days getting beat 5-0 off the likes of Derby whilst trying to hide your disappointment standing in the home end amongst their fans was what it was all about.
But, fast forward to the turn of the century and I moved to Middlesbrough.
Despite this, I was still in love with the game and watching from afar at the Quinn/Phillips era, and with the power of the internet I could watch games from around the world. Any football was worth watching.
Over the last 15 years I have started watching less and less football, only focusing on Sunderland games, and this season has become the straw that broke the camel’s back.
There’s only so much sh*t that we can take, and the whole club is riddled from top to bottom with failures on high money who have become detached from real life.
Me and the missus own a business in Boro, and we work sixty hours a week each, and our cut of the turnover a year is about ten grand less than Jack Rodwell makes in a week!
On Sunday night, one of the local lads on his way back from the match opened the door and sang "you're going down" - I couldn't even muster up the energy to tell him to f**k off!
That’s when I knew that it was game over for me and Sunderland AFC.
Dear Roker Report,
I feel very sorry for West Ham United.
David Moyes will KILL your club, like he did ours.
Surprise, Surprise - he's blaming everyone but himself yet again.
When you look at the last three clubs he's been at, it speaks volumes about his managerial qualities - he has NONE at all.
This guy is complete and utter sh*te. God help West Ham United!