Dear Roker Report,
Have you seen the funny news report out today, that the mighty Joey Barton is Fleetwood’s new manager... wait, it gets even funnier...... he can’t wait to use his tactical wit against Sunderland!
Sorry, can’t write anymore as my sides are hurting - anyway I’m off to the betting shop.
P.S. - I wonder what the odds are for Joey Barton to be sacked by the end of the season?
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I really hope he fails miserably. The bloke is an utter gobshite with an over-inflated opinion of himself and I’m sure I won’t be the only one hoping he falls flat on his face!
Dear Roker Report,
(Letter re: previous issues of Fan Letters in which exiled supporters called for a loyalty system to reward fans that don’t live near the Stadium of Light)
As an exiled Sunderland supporter myself - and a season ticket holder with a 460 mile round trip every other week who also attends the majority of away games - I would be a bit hacked off if I didn’t manage to get to a game because some random applicant got a ticket before me.
I have never forgiven the club for the bloody stupid raffle tickets they gave out in the 3 games before the 73 cup final. Yes, correct - neither my dad or me as a 12 year old got a ticket having been to every other game in the cup run, including Reading away!
And finally, there are many other exiles who I see every week who are even dafter than I am, including a few who also do the midweek home games then go straight to work.
As much as I would love everyone to get to whichever games they wanted to, I’m afraid loyalty schemes are put in place for a reason.
However, It could be something that is organised through the ‘exile’ branches. I think this happened in a fashion years ago where branches would get a small allocation of tickets based on member numbers, so at least they were contributing towards their local branch by being a paid up member.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I completely sympathise with your viewpoint too, Kevin - I don’t think there is any way in which the club can keep everyone happy, and as such there’ll likely be no alternative loyalty system introduced as a result. There are too many holes to pick in it, unfortunately.
I like your suggestion about branches though. I think the way forward is to definitely strengthen the branch system across the world. Introduce more structure to each one, have a better support and investment model, and have the club actively encourage fans everywhere to subscribe to branch membership. Make it possible even to become a branch member online - that way everyone wins.