Last night the Red and White Army (RAWA) held an event at The Peacock pub in Sunderland town centre in order to host an open discussion with supporters prior to their important meeting with Martin Bain on the 4th April - their last of the current season.
The RAWA committee opened the meeting by giving a run-through of everything they’d achieved so far, starting from their inception and moving through to the present day.
The fans in attendance were then given the opportunity to put forward suggestions for what the committee could potentially ask Bain when they meet with him. Following on from this, there was also a brainstorm of how best to organise a protest movement - and what the nature of said demonstration would be.
A few interesting nuggets of information were unearthed from the two hour chat had between the fans in attendance and the committee. One thing which was made abundantly clear was the lack of consultation offered by Bain to any existing supporters’ group with regard to the closure of the Premier Concourse next season.
Many fans expressed their indignation about this on the evening - and so it was concluded that a call for interaction between the CEO and supporters (especially those currently sat in the Premier Concourse) would be greatly appreciated.
In brighter news, the rumours of administration were quelled somewhat. RAWA have been told regularly by Bain that Ellis Short will continue to oversee the running of Sunderland AFC despite the apathy he may express toward our club. The implication of him doing so is that, by allowing the club to enter administration, Short would ‘lose everything’ financially, and so it is preferable (from his perspective) to keep subsidising the club with the bare minimum funds until a buyer comes along. The suggestion was that from the tone of what Bain has told RAWA in the past, administration isn’t something Ellis Short would consider.
Speaking of which - when a buyer does come along to salvage Sunderland, the attendees called for a fit and proper persons test to be conducted in order to ensure that whoever does take over is going to run the club in a far more dignified manner.
Starting to fill up at The Peacock for our open meeting tonight. I'll be keeping you updated best I can with what is said from the stage and the floor. Ha'way the lads pic.twitter.com/sMIxE9bcac— Red & White Army (@RedAndWhite2017) March 20, 2018
As for the talk of protest, a brainstorm was carried out in the final half an hour of the meeting and in this time the fans were given the opportunity to speculate on how such a protest would be carried out.
Suggestions included, but were not limited to, selling out the Stadium on the final game to the season in a defiant display of passion; doing essentially the opposite on boycotting one of the remaining away games; displaying banners expressing the sentiments fans felt towards their club as opposed to just a generic ‘Short Out’, and a mass walk out in the early minutes of a game.
We were also informed that a full set of meeting minutes will be available from the Red And White army official website within the next seven days.