Stadium of Light makeover under way
Stewart Donald’s promise to change the infamous pink seats with help from the fans is well under way, with Roker Report doing our bit to give the Stadium of Light a much needed face lift.
We’ve provided some pictures below and, as you can see, it’s not just shiny new red seats that are replacing the fading old ones, but white ones too.
They’re being introduced to give our home a fresh new look of red and white sections, inspired by how the stadium looked when the red and white cards were held up before a game against Newcastle United in 2011 - although rather than full red and white stripes, the stadium will remain mostly red but with large white stripes in all four corners.
Former midfielders on trial
Former Sunderland duo Dan Wright and Darron Gibson are both looking for new clubs after their contracts with Sunderland expired - or in Gibson’s case was terminated early - and they are both currently on trial with Championship sides based in the North West ahead of next season.
Academy product Wright featured for Bolton Wanderers in their 1-1 draw with Atherton Collieries and did his chances of winning a contract the world of good with an assured display in the middle of the park. The 20-year-old almost equalised for Bolton only for his shot to hit the woodwork, but he made amends shortly after as he skipped past the home goalkeeper and slid the ball into an empty net.
Wigan Athletic have handed Gibson a different kind of trial than he is used to, with the midfielder looking to restart his career after a disastrous spell at Sunderland.
The Republic of Ireland international narrowly avoided a prison sentence after a drink-drive incident, for which his contract with Sunderland was terminated and the 30-year-old will be hoping to win a contract with Paul Cook’s men.
Alvarez departs Sampdoria
A midfielder with an equally disastrous spell at Sunderland - albeit for different reasons - Ricky Alvarez is on the move again.
The Argentine playmaker has terminated his contract with Serie A side Sampdoria by mutual consent following two years at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and is expected to sign for Mexican side Club Atlas.
Alvarez initially joined Sunderland on loan before falling foul of injuries during his spell at the Stadium of Light, and that led the previous regime to believe that they could get out of the legally binding contract with Inter Milan.
The ordeal cost us £9m, and then the club lost another court case regarding the midfielder last month which set Stewart Donald back another £5m - something that he revealed on an episode of the Roker Rapport Podcast.
The 30-year-old only played 11 times for Sunderland and has so far cost us a minimum of £14m, so best of luck to Atlas with their new Argentine winger!