Dear Roker Report,
Them - “Who do you support?”
Me - “I’m a big Sunderland fan”
Them - “ooo, erm, okay, why do you support them?”
This is a conversation I find myself having at least once a week, and when they ask that final question, it very quickly comes back to me why I support Sunderland, the heritage, the roar, the fans and that unique feeling of beating Newcastle.
However, recently when I’m asked that question I really struggle to stay positive.
In fact sometimes I struggle to say anything at all because I’ve now started to ask myself the question, “why do I support a club that is run by an owner who cares not for the fans even though he claims to be a “fan” himself, who week after week can sit there and watch the club he is a “fan” of lose to sides of far lower quality and following?”
How can he sit there and watch the club he is a “fan” of hurtle towards the 3rd division of English football at an alarming rate?
My question to you, whoever may read this, is what will it take for Short to recognise his mistakes he’s made, selling players for less than they’re worth, buying junk players year after year who we then sell to our relegation rivals and ultimately, his biggest mistake, not selling the club a few years back when we had Chinese consortiums interested in us?
What will it take, what can we, as genuine fans of Sunderland AFC do to help Short and his tiny brain realise that he’s doing more harm than good by staying? Shutting the Premier Concourse for example, it’s a start in a lack of energy to rebuild the club, he’s now thinking short term, we need an owner who can help us grow.
Protesting clearly hasn’t worked, look what happened to West Ham just this week, it backfires on the fans.
What can we do?
Ed’s note: I think Short has already realised his mistakes, and that is exactly why we’re deteriorating at an alarming rate. In the past he’d throw more money at attempting to fix our problems but now he sees no point in doing that any more and is only writing the cheques to make sure the bills get paid. What’s infuriating is that even with a tiny bit of investment, Coleman could have signed the players to steer us away in January. Now it seems too late, and unfortunately we’re all having to sit tight and see how this plays out. My hope is that Short is aggressive in trying to sell the club once our fate is sealed, and we begin a new chapter next season with a new owner and a fresh outlook.
Dear Roker Report,
There are many reasons why Sunderland are in this position and the only way to get out of this mess and to prevent it happening again is to perform a radical root and branch change of all the systems at every level.
I propose that the club should operate in the same fashion as Athletic Bilbao, becoming a regional team with nobody born outside the NE region eligible to play for the club. The parameters of the region may vary in different minds, but I would propose between the Northumberland and Durham borders. I believe that this would prevent signing players who have no affiliation or feeling for the area.
Some time ago when we were a Premier League team I emailed the club with the idea that we should play Bilbao in the SHORT cup. This would be helpful for pre-season matches and encourage a rapport between the clubs. The people of the North East are part of Bilbao’s history, when miners and engineers gave our strips to there fledgling club, hence they now play in the red and white. The club did not reply to my email and the chance was lost.
Ed’s note: There is something in that we need to be the NE kids team of choice. The club need to make good community and family links and value the kids all the way through. But, I think your idea is maybe a little too radical, Arthur!