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Fan Letters: “Until players like Rodwell are gone, Sunderland will always have massive problems”

“In order to bring about any improvement the CANCER - in the form of Rodwell - must be removed, and quickly”, says RR reader David McKeever. Got something to say? Email us: - we’ll include your message in the next edition.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Following my last post, the feedback has been interesting and varied.

It is clear to me we as fans must understand the situation in a little more depth than published in the media and discussed between friends.

Since Ellis Short bought the club we have discovered the man is genuine, naive, and wealthy - in spite of being a good businessman.

As an absent owner it is well documented he appointed people he thought he could trust and knew how to operate a football club - mistake number one!

His due diligence should have gave him an insight of the area, club, and supporters, and the role the club plays in the community, coupled with an ability himself to monitor how his money is spent. mistake number three!

Everyone - including media and supporters - must understand there is no quick solution to such complex problems that exist within Sunderland AFC.

Before we look at the way forward it is important to understand what leadership is, in a football club there are many diverse elements to examine and monitor, for example;

1) selection of suitable board members, not cronies.

2) A competent CEO to manage administration, legal department, finance, outside interests, and public relations.

3) A competent, experienced manager with a quality support staff, able to scout and select players that would fit the strategic plan set out for the playing staff in consultation with the CEO and leader.

4) A competent and experienced academy manager with support staff he can trust. Let us also explore diverging the academy into a football charity with the tax benefits to donors, club, and the academy itself.

Individuals have done this in business, government, social activism, and religious movements, leaders endeavour to make a big impact on the cause that matters, not just to the individual, but to a great number of people by setting a strategy, a route map for the future, laying down clear ground rules as to ethics, communications, sponsorship and management of players agents.

I am aware of the great challenge before the club and its supporters, and it’s two fold:

A) Be realistic - whether the club is relegated or not, it needs a fundamental overhaul in the management department, a road map to the future laying out a strategy, showing financial inputs and outputs, philosophy of play.

B) Supporters need to understand they are needed at the club, as a meaningful voice, a pressure group, a financial source of revenue/perhaps shareholding, and a position on the Board of Directors, not to sit back and reminisce on times gone by that is history - we need to take action.

The support at Sunderland AFC is extraordinary - let us turn such support into action based on a “can do” ethic channeled through the Supporters club and people like myself - and there are many - who live outside of the Sunderland catchment area, indeed also abroad, we can produce a viable, realistic offer to the management, which will take time, energy, due diligence, and money to present to Ellis Short a proposition he would do well to consider.

Talk is cheap - we need you supporters.

Freddie Pearson

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Just like most supporters I am absolutely dejected, down-heartened and fed up with the rubbish that is being provided by our club. It has been apparent for many years that improvement in the performance of the team would only come from an injection of new players, who have both the commitment and ability to play at the appropriate level. The new players with those qualities have not arrived and that is a major factor in the dreadful performances we’ve seen all season.

However it is my firm opinion that there are other problems, the main one being Jack Rodwell. His deplorable attitude together with a wage level that is probably more than twice any other players at the club is acting like a cancer on the other players, reducing their efforts, etc. Arsenal are suffering from a similar problem where wage jealousy is having a detrimental effect on other players and the team’s performance.

The club is where it is so far as player availability, and Coleman’s verbiage does not appear to be having any effect on the player’s level of motivation. So in order to bring about any improvement the CANCER - in the form of Rodwell - must be removed, and quickly.

Sack Rodwell and see the improvement that action will bring, unless it is taken the club is doomed to div 1 or worse.

Over to you Bain (the useless one).

David McKeever

Ed’s note: The problem is (as we understand it) that the club have tried to pay Rodwell off and he didn’t accept what they were offering. He still has well over a year left to run on a contract that pays him a ridiculous amount of money, and since he clearly lacks integrity I can’t imagine he’ll settle for anything less than what his deal is worth.

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