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FAN LETTERS: “Don’t vilify Charlie Methven for highlighting issues within Sunderland’s fanbase!”

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Comments made by Sunderland Director Charlie Methven about supporters leaving early and choosing to watch illegal streams of games in pubs are the main points of discussion in today’s edition of Fan Letters. Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk - we’ll include your message in a future edition!

Fan Letters Danny Roberts | Roker Report

Dear Roker Report,

I’m not usually compelled to write into things like this, but today I’m making an exception. Because this issue had bugged me for a while and I’m glad it is not just me that had a little problem with it.

In the last Roker Rapport Podcast it was discussed about fans turning up late for the start of matches and leaving early.

If Charlie wants the fans in the stadium at least 15 minutes before kick-off then why don’t we close the ticket office at 2/2:30pm on a Saturday? Doing this will make sure a lot of fans are there earlier and gives them time to enter the ground.

As for leaving early, unless you’ve got a legitimate reason, I just don’t understand why people do it. How many people missed the goal by Gooch against Charlton? I honestly don’t think it makes much difference leaving early if you’re wanting to beat the crowd or whatever, but it makes a MASSIVE difference if we’ve still got most people in the ground cheering on the lads til the final whistle!

How do the players feel if they see 10,000 fans leaving early? If that was me playing I’d be thinking to myself: “Am I not doing enough? Are we not winning enough or playing as good as we thought?” after battering Scunthorpe or Rochdale. If I’ve paid £20 for a ticket, I’m watching every single minute of the game.

The owners and the players have shown their hands, are willing to go the extra mile for the club and I think the fans need to start and do the same, stay till till final whistle giving 110% support. Yes, we’ve been shat on as fans in the past, but let’s all get behind the owners, team and ultimately, the club that we all love and enjoy the good times again!

Andrew Urwin

Ed’s Note [JN]: It is one thing I despise, too. One person who sits near me in the South Stand must spend about an hour watching the game after leaving early, arriving late and going into the concourse likewise early and late for a drink.

I don’t think shutting the ticket office early would make much of a difference; it’s the drink people are skipping parts of the match for (by in large). Just give it two hours without a drink, it ain’t that hard. Go a bit early, savour the atmosphere, watch the lads then go for a drink after the game, you’ll have plenty of time.

Of course leaving early can’t always be helped, but it is ridiculous if unforced.

The Lads celebrate Josh Maja’s second goal against Rochdale.
Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The past week has been a mixed bag in every sense. The victory against Rochdale was a timely boost after the drubbing at Burton, and I genuinely hope that with players like Power and McGeady returning we’ll hopefully tear up the league.

The current formation also suits the players we’ve got, a genuine LWB in Oviedo can be a real gem at this level. On the contrary, even though it was nice to see an uninterested player leave the club it’s a real shame that we couldn’t utilise the MOST EXPENSIVE PLAYER in the club’s history, both financially and in a footballing sense.

With the pressure of players’ salaries getting reduced, things seems to be greener than ever.

Adarsh Dinesh

Ed’s Note [JN]: I think we have easily the most quality in the league, but just need to be less naive and play like a League One team.

They really got down the wings well and utilised the speed and pace in-behind Rochdale at the weekend. Oviedo is clearly a class above, but don’t expect him to be heavily involved with how well Hume is performing.

Ndong should never have been our most expensive player, that is more indicative of our horrendous recruitment policy in the past.

Ndong or Ngone, am I right?
Sunderland AFC

Dear Roker Report,

Jonothan Scollen’s article on the Didier Ndong situation was a very interesting read. I’m also interested in employment law as I work for a trade union, but Jonothan clearly has more insight into the particular issues surrounding footballers’ employment and sports law than I have.

I know as well as anyone that the player may choose to offer a different version of events to what is currently in the public arena. All I’ll say is that if the facts are as the club says and Jonothan suspects, then I think most supporters looking in may well applaud the club’s stance.

I am, by and large, very positive about the direction SAFC now appears to be heading in. Jack Ross impressed as does his team. I still have strong reservations regarding the involvement of supporters in changing seats for reasons that may be obvious even if I accept that the individual volunteers may want to help.

Let’s not vilify Charlie Methven though for going on the attack against pubs who are screening SAFC games unlawfully. We - including, I’d suggest, absent players - can’t pick and choose which bits of the law we want to abide by. Our side looks good on the pitch, but I imagine resolving all of the questions surrounding the cost of maintenance of the club’s infrastructure will be a more drawn-out challenge for them. I agree with Charlie that that means leeching off the club from outside has to stop right now!

Robert Crosby

Ed’s Note [JN]: Part of me would naturally like to see some money come in for Ndong, but we simply need to get his disgusting presence out of the club and chiefly his wages off the books as soon as possible. More than any other, this can be directly compared to the Rodwell saga, and is a real statement of intent. We (as a club and entity) will not be taken for a ride by players, agents or whoever any longer.

I for one, tend to agree with Methven and haven’t personally seen him vilified by anyone to be honest. One utterly bizarre comment in response was that some fans would prefer to sit in the pub and drink twenty pints rather than watch the lads. Well I’m sorry, but if that’s the case, these fans need to get the badge off their wallpaper, “SAFC” out of their twitter handle and think about the idiocy of the comments.

Some can’t afford the games, fair enough. But to then drink the same price away in a shite pub? Aye. Smart. Pubs in the immediate area shouldn’t be allowed to broadcast home games.

Oxford Mail