In the absence of Ellis Short - who has seemingly eased himself further and further into the shadows - Martin Bain has become the public figure who appears to be in charge of major decisions behind the scenes at Sunderland.
Subsequently, fans have taken to email in an effort of expressing their frustrations at the position in which the club finds itself. Those who email in often receive an answer; last time our reader received a response from Louise Wanless (Head of Media & Communications); however in this exchange the main man himself, Martin Bain, has replied in person.
Following our initial article we were contacted by a number of people who read it and wished to send in their own thoughts to the club, asking us to pass on the relevant details. As such, one of those fans got back in touch to pass on the response that they received.
The reader - again, who wishes not to be named - has kindly allowed Roker Report to post the exchange for other fans to see.
Dear Mr Bain,
I am 48 years old and attended my 1st game at Roker Park in 1977. A club legend, Gary Rowell scored 2 goals in a team victory and I was hooked.
In the subsequent years I've experienced many high's following the team, promotions, Wembley trips, derby wins and the occasional 'big scalp'. It's fair to say there have been many disappointments and failure's over those 40 years but that is the life of most football fans and especially those that follow Sunderland AFC.
In all those years I genuinely struggle to think of a time when the fan base was at such a low as it is currently; demoralised, disillusioned and incredibly frustrated.
Most understand and agree with your desire to invest in and back a Manager for the long haul however the overwhelming feeling is that David Moyes is not the correct choice.
I won't list all the reasons, check out any of the supporter forums or informed websites and you will see the reasons why but somehow the love and intense passion of supporters has being eroded.
We have something in common, a desire and passion to see the club prosper, progress and break out of the decline it has been in over recent seasons. It's your job and it's mine and thousands of others huge passion.
My reason for making contact is really to implore you to make the change and replace the Manager. This move and the appointment of a replacement with the correct credentials would immediately galvanise supporters and provide hope as we look to return to the Premier League.
From a business perspective Season Ticket sales and revenue from commercial activity will be given an instant boost which I acknowledge is a critical concern in the modern game
I would be happy to suggest names of alternate managers that are being mentioned amongst supporters should you be interested.
Please don't forget, Sunderland AFC is a massive part of thousands of people's lives. Our expectations are really only that a team provides 100% effort and commitment on a weekly basis and wear the shirt with provide. We don't believe Mr Moyes is capable of obtaining this from the players and urge the board to make the change.
I appreciate you taking the time to read my communication.
The reader brings up several points that many fans can relate to; however, his assertion that David Moyes should be fired is perhaps the most interesting notion in the email, and is a debate that has fans divided on what is best for the club in the long-term.
Martin Bain then took the time to respond to the email, this was his reply:
Thank you for your email. It is clear from your communication that you are passionate about the club and we very much appreciate your support. It goes without saying that this has been an extremely challenging season for everyone connected with the club and I do understand the frustrations that you have expressed in your email.
Many of the issues we find ourselves dealing with as a club at present are as a direct result of a significant churn in players and managers.
Those quick fixes have led to longer term issues for the club. First and foremost, to re-build it is vital that we have a cohesive approach to our player trading and recruitment, continuity is key.
Both myself and David have always tried to be upfront regarding the challenges the club faces. There is a determination to make the club better on all fronts.
Our issues were not caused overnight and in turn unfortunately, cannot be fixed overnight. I can assure you however that we are working collaboratively, both on and off the pitch, to ensure that the club is in a better position to move forward in the coming months and years.
Thank you once again for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.
Bain’s response seems quite honest, even if it does skirt some issues and offer little in the way of genuine response.
One interesting quote, “Those quick fixes have led to longer term issues for the club. First and foremost, to re-build it is vital that we have a cohesive approach to our player trading and recruitment, continuity is key”, suggests that plans are certainly in place for the summer - something Moyes could well have been developing this season.
Many would agree that this summer’s transfer dealings will be crucial in getting fans back on-side after what has been a dismal season. Has Bain added extra importance to this summer by seemingly suggesting that part of the decision to retain David Moyes is that he has apparently developed a cohesive approach for our future transfer plans?
Furthermore his statement, “I can assure you however that we are working collaboratively, both on and off the pitch, to ensure that the club is in a better position to move forward in the coming months and years” suggests that not only does the club have a transfer policy in mind, but also an economic plan to revitalize our faltering club. The only way we will be able to “move forward in the coming months and years” is by rectifying our worsening financial infirmity, surely?
This upcoming set of financial results will most likely be distressing viewing, but next year will show us just how accomplished Bain has been at reversing our financial fortunes. Nobody expects him to have healed the club, but something needs to have changed - there needs to be positive signs emerging from the club.
In all, these emails are a great insight into the minds of those tasked with running our club, and we would encourage each and every reader to email the club with their concerns and thoughts on our current situation. Moments like this show the club how amazing our support is, but also demonstrate that we won’t sit idly by as our club suffers.