Dear Roker Report,
I have been a Sunderland supporter for over 60 years. My dad used to take me to Roker Park and from there had season tickets for a number of years.
I have gone even when we were in relegation battles and been relegated. The atmosphere was what kept me going and the fact that the players always gave 100%. Players like Charlie Hurley and Gary Bennett who were committed to the club - they knew how to defend. Brian Clough was the best centre forward of his time and it was sad to see his last game when he was injured.
We then had a group of players who were not the best in the world but they were a team which went on to win the FA cup in 1973 - the memory of the Semi Final against Arsenal still sticks in my mind. If anyone ever doubted the support of the Sunderland fans then that was the answer - the game was won before a ball was kicked.
It is sad to see the state of the club now, not only on the pitch but off it as well. Not only does it appear that we are going to be relegated, but there is so much uncertainty around our financial position too.
Football is an easy game. Do NOT concede and you wont lose, score more goals than the opposition and you will win. Play as a team, give 100% and do the basics - then you will win more than you lose. Unfortunately, the current squad do not seem capable of performing simple tasks.
We need some sort of stability to go forward. The owner should sell sooner rather than later. We need to continue with Chris Coleman as manager and get rid of the deadwood. Get players in who want to play for the club, form a team and stick to it.
This season is over. I feel sorry for the fans who still pay their good money to watch this lot.
Ed’s note: Very true. Playing for Sunderland AFC, in front of those fans, was once a massive honour and players knew what it meant to represent us. Unfortunately that seems to have been lost along the way, and irregardless of where we end up this season we have to focus on improving the type of person we have representing us.
Dear Roker Report,
I never thought I would ever say this, but... I’m not going to the match on Saturday.
I have been going since 1976 through all the ups and downs we have had in that time, but never once has my passion for the club faltered until now.
Why should I go to a game, get upset by the lack of effort and, worse still, the terrible crap that puts on the famous red and white shirt? We cannot blame Mr Coleman as he can only put on the pitch what he has at his disposal.
For the last eight years the club has been run into a dead end, mismanaged by one of the best businessmen in the world.
The staff behind Mr Short are as much to blame as he is, as they are supposed to have vast knowledge of the game. I could go on and on about what has gone wrong - it just hurts and frustrates every fan I know.
Instead of going to the Stadium of Light on Saturday I’m taking my girls to watch Julio Arca down the road at South Shields instead.
I would never have thought that I’d be saying that!
Ed’s note: I don’t really blame you mate. Non-league football is cheaper and more enjoyable, and ultimately you want your kids to have a happy experience when you take them along. Loads of hardcore Sunderland fans have started following non-league sides as a way of showing they aren’t prepared to stand by while Ellis Short ruins our club.
Dear Roker Report,
As a 43 year old fan I often sit here asking myself “why does history seem to repeat it self when it comes to Sunderland?”. I suppose we could ask ourselves the same thing about everything that is going on in the world at the moment, it’s just that when it comes to my beloved team it’s just magnified even more. I have never had delusions of grandeur when it came to the lads, just the hope that one weekend they would win and give us a performance that we could be proud of.
Now some of you will be shouting from the rooftops about Peter Reid and all that - yeah, we done okay in that era, but where was the push on from the 7th place finishes?
Exactly - the club had been used as a cash cow, whilst the fans sit and wait in trepidation to see if we are going to sink or swim. The club has always been ran by mugs, going all the way back to Tom Cowie. It has always been for their own interest... and MONEY.
Ellis Short wants £50 million for it!
I don’t claim to be a money guru by a long shot, but I am sure we could all chip in and buy it back off him. We have gone on long enough whining about the owners of our beloved club... well why don’t we the fans see if we can take control of our club.
Yeah I know, it sounds like wishful thinking, but is it?
We are heading towards League One. The money is going to dry up, let’s get this club doing what it should be doing. The infrastructure is there for all to see. We are just ran by tools and have been for a long time. The club should be scouring the North East for the best young talent, selling them the vision of this great club - the vision us fans all want to see. Honest and good football, nothing more, nothing less. Okay, we might not be in the Premier League and we might lose some of the younger fans. But I am willing to take that if my club is being ran properly from top to bottom.
I grew up watching a Sunderland side with Bennett, Elliott, Agboola, Norman, Boulder, Gates, Gabbiadini, West, Kay, Ball - honest pros. When we signed the Swede from Arsenal I was made up - being a child I thought this was it, but I soon realised that he was finished. And then the last relegation to Division Three ... Gillingham... beaten on away goals... being stood in the Fulwell End crying my eyes out, and still crying when I was on the 19 bus all the way back to Grangetown.
We need to break this constant cycle of shite, cos in my lifetime it has always been sh*te. Something has got to give.
Ronnie Gardener (An exiled Mackem)
Ed’s note: By all means, if you know a couple of billionaire Sunderland supporters that might fancy a go at it you should get on the blower to them!