Dear Roker Report,
I, like yourselves and most other Sunderland fans have found myself swept away on cloud of dreams, with Ellis Short finally packing his bags and taking his debt with him.
The whole new ownership thing and the way it has been publicly handled is a breath of fresh air - but I am starting to get a little bit worried about a few things at the club.
Finances. For someone to buy a club for £40m and then two months later sell 20% of it for £2m doesn't make sense to me. I understand that this Sartori fella brings a lot more to the table, and he’s possibly someone to lean on financially in the future, but for us to lose £5m on 20% of the club within a few weeks worries me that Stewart and Charlie have bitten off more than they can chew and are grasping out for any cash available.
Then there’s the whole loan thing that was brought to light. It was explained, but are we being fed what we want to hear? Which brings me on to other club fans calling the two of them chancers and bullsh*t merchants... obviously you have to see past the banter, but are we being blinded by the promise of shiny red seats and a new dawn to see the bigger picture? Have these two have skinted themselves by taking us on?
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I can only speak from my own perspective on this, but what I’d advise here is that you wait and see what happens going forward under the new owners.
Stewart Donald is a wealthy man, but he’s not got the kind of money that will buy us a spot back into the Premier League. We have to be sensible with our finances going forward, and I’ve been impressed by the measures that they’ve taken so far.
Sartori’s involvement, in my opinion, should be celebrated. What we’ve done is, in truth, helped to secure our future once we get ourselves back out of League One. Sartori being on board opens up so many avenues for the club if we can get ourselves promoted and, as Donald outlined on our Podcast, he has some very wealthy family members with a keen interest in investing in football clubs. Let’s just hope we get over the first hurdle and worry about what comes after later.
With regards to whether we are just being fed what we want to hear - who knows? I guess the proof will indeed be in the pudding. What I will say is that to me it looks like they’ve made a big list of common fan concerns and have done their best to try and resolve most of them.
I don’t personally believe that there’s been an attempt to distract or mislead - I think that, so far, our owners have been fantastic. I can totally understand the scepticism though, because for too long before their arrival we were used to hearing nothing. What we’ve got now is the exact opposite of that - and it feels a little strange!
Dear Roker Report,
My dad took me to my very first match at Roker Park 60 years ago and I’ve been a fan ever since. I remember Roker was a fortress in those days, when you rarely saw a defeat, and the same players were played week in and week out.
There wasn’t any question that the players’ loyalty was to the club.
We’ve had lots of highs over the years, but disappointment and lows over the last few seasons. I’m an optimistic type of guy and with the new owners and manager in place I look forward to the new season, and hope we get the players with the right mindset to bring us some good times in the future.
I’ll be there for the opening game and hope many more supports will return and fill the stadium and give great support.
Good luck for the future, Sunderland AFC.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Well said Tom - you’ve nailed it. There’s a real good feeling amongst supporters at the minute, and long may that continue. Believe me, it wasn’t easy covering this club in the last two seasons for the site and it feels nice to have something good to look forward to!