clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

FAN LETTERS: “Why haven’t AWOL Sunderland duo Papy & Ndong been sacked yet?” asks RR reader Mark

Today, RR readers lament the modern game in various differing ways. Surely it is time for a change? Got something to say? Email us: - we’ll include your message in a future edition!

Fan Letters Danny Roberts | Roker Report

Dear Roker Report,

Can anyone tell me what purpose there is to a transfer window in football? If my memory is correct it was introduced to stop clubs panic buying when they had bad results and were in danger of relegation. The knock-on effect was clubs still being relegated and being burdened with players they did not really want and the associated debt. Clubs in effect spending money they didn’t have. Fast forward to now and it hasn’t improved anything - our own club is in a mess due to the players bought in such circumstances.

Surely now that the Financial Fair Play regulations are in place there is no need to have a window in place? If clubs were allowed as long as there finances were in order to sell or buy players at any time it would stop panic descending twice a year. Agents are pulling millions out of football - again if there were transfers free of time restrictions their influence would wane.

I have no figures to back it but l would guess that there is more Sky TV money being given to agents than arrives anywhere below the Premier League. There is only sell a player and invest in someone else approach operating from the First Division down anyway.

So l say scrap the windows, insist the clubs buy from within their budgets and we will end up with a much better model. No business can really succeed if it is not allowed to increase or decrease its workforce to adapt to its current need, yet that is exactly the model football clubs have in place.

Gerard Hiscock

Ed’s Note [JN]: Of course, nothing is perfect. But I do agree, the transfer window merely leads to over-inflated fees and imbalanced squads up and down the leagues and all over Europe. The difficulty is, it is now so intrinsically embedded into our footballing culture that I fear it will never go.

Plus, as you say, the TV companies benefit the most, and what they say goes.

If anything, at least the hype around transfer deadline day and all the absolute circus involved has waned significantly too.

Tore Andre Flo of Sunderland and Scott Parker and Chris Powell of Charlton Athletic
Just one of Sunderland’s ill-fated forays into deadline day signings.
Photo by Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Sunderland has had a rough period, and subsequently the fans have suffered greatly. I sometimes fear though that we as fans transition through feelings capriciously. It was only a few months ago that all was darkness, and we were traveling through the “Valley of Death” on an ever downward spiral.

Then we were saved, new owners came in, new owners who not only were content to balance out the club and replace the previous owners, but owners who had ambition. They hired a new manager, got rid of many of the malcontents, and invested in the club. But within months, some fans were dissatisfied with the new owners, new players. Some fans that talked of only wanting players that would work, were now unhappy to have players that would seem to do just that, because they did not have a pedigree.

I think it is important for people in general but as fans to be honest with ourselves. We are fans of a club in League One, there is no use looking down on that and saying we are better. The club surely showed anyone that watched last season or the year before that we were not good enough for the leagues above.

When we get promoted - whether it be this season or next, or five seasons from now - we should try and enjoy the ride, and enjoy winning at whatever level. God knows we have experienced losing enough.

If we get back to the Championship, I do not think we should hope to invest 40 million pounds - it does not guarantee promotion. Look at Villa, a big club like us, a big fanbase like us, spent big, and have not been promoted. The owner defaulted, and without new ownership that club could have been in freefall.

Maybe Sartori will ensure major investment, but I desire the club to target gradual growth, building and developing the infrastructure, investing in the academy. Hopefully, they will target the best youngsters from Britain and Ireland and bring them into the first team or the reserves.

That is the type of club I want to see and be, not just a club that buys its success, even if we do get promoted, though as previously mentioned there are oh so many examples of money not ensuring success and sometimes causing catastrophe.

Let us remember what so many of us hoped for. A club with definite principles, aspirations, and style. A club that promotes youth, and is filled with talent from the region, and Britain in general. A club that discovers talent, not one that reuses it. A club that has players that fight for the shirt, and are not here only to be paid. A club that when it returns to the pinnacle will be reinvigorated, with defined direction, and an unwavering belief in its own model, not a club that changes everything when the siren song of Premier League Money comes calling. These players that some of us have not heard of, let us not look down on them, because many of the ones I had heard of that came to the club were awful.

Let’s enjoy this new dawn, and be hopeful, lets hope the despair and cynicism from the past few years washes away or at least recedes some.


Colter Lasley

Ed’s Note [JN]: Here here. It is a shame you have to drop to such a low level to find this in football, but here’s hope we can instill a real culture into the club and try and keep this once we are back in the Premier League - whenever that day comes.

Eastleigh v Northampton Town - Pre-Season Friendly
Sunderland’s new majority owner.
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Over the moon with the start the team has had, but the biggest bug bear is how and why our awol players have not been sacked yet. Only in football could this happen, that’s what annoys me about players and agents: they have far too much power. Ndong’s deal fell through because of his agent’s demands. This cannot go on or football’s heading for the toilet.

When Sunderland get back to the big time how can we afford the likes of £67 million for a keeper? It’s a joke!

Young, homegrown talent is not getting a chance to shine all it is now is over-paid, under-performing super stars who don’t give a sh*t about fans or clubs they play for. Time for change all teams should have a set transfer fund set by the league they play in.

Look at last year in European leagues, their champions won by massive points gaps - this beautiful game is been ruined by greedy players and agents football has to go back to its grassroots and give it back to the fans. I know football needs the investment but the gap between the big clubs and likes of us is getting wider and wider - enough is enough we need change.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [JN]: Surely this sort of financial inflation is unsustainable? For every Newcastle and Wolves (spend ludicrously to get back in the big-time) there will be numerous more Sunderland and Portsmouth’s. Villa barely got bailed out of liquidation at quite literally the last minute.

Agents run the game, just look at the current Pogba scandal - I’d wager it is all engineered by his agent (Mino Raiola) purely to get a payday for himself and his client. Pogba will merely continue to move every other year and chase the pay packet and headlines. He is the epitome of a modern footballer, and is essentially a walking advertisement.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report