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Fan Letters: Watching Sunderland has become a chore - where’s the buzz?

“For many who go week in, week out, I get the sense that the level of match day excitement has disappeared and I don’t like seeing that.” It’s getting harder and harder to see the bright side for many fans. Something to say? Email us:!

Dear Roker Report,

Watching the club struggle is, without a shadow of a doubt, gut-wrenching.

This wasn’t supposed to happen for the second season was it? Following what I thought was an okay first go at League One, nothing is clicking or falling flat on its face - it feels like things are going from bad to worse and it stings.

Last season, to me, was almost like a breath of fresh air. The club reconnected with the fans, there was a level of positivity, it felt like the club were going forward. However, it does feel like, currently, we’re back to how it used to be towards the end of Ellis Short’s tenure at the club.

It almost feels like we need to go back, again, to rebuild everything or am I the only one thinking this?

The current squad, minus two or three isn’t good enough, that’s obvious to see and you could say that about the Under-23s as well. As much as I back managers as much as I can, when they come in, it’s clear to see that whatever Phil Parkinson is trying to do, isn’t working and the fact he’s lost the fans so quickly speaks volumes.

For many who go week in, week out, I get the sense that the level of match day excitement has disappeared and I don’t like seeing that. I remember looking at social media posts and seeing the buzz about home or away days and now, it feels like it’s more a chore - we’re not even into the new year and the feeling that the season is over!

These days, I can’t make games, due to filming duties at Morpeth Town FC, but I ALWAYS check in with the results and highlights when available, read reports by the Roker Report gang and tune into pods following the match.

I, like many won’t give up on the club, no matter how bad it gets. The club could be at the bottom of League Two, yet I’d still do the same routine as I normally do, as grim as that sounds but Sunderland are my club, they always will be.

Michael Briggs

Ed’s Note [Damian]: I can see the validity of what you’re saying, Michael, much as it pains me to consider such a drastic course of action. I think perhaps there’s something to be said for the notion that we are actually currently undergoing that rebuild you speak of. Not in any terms that can adequately shield the owners and staff from scrutiny by way of deflecting any criticism of the manner in which they’ve approached and handled this rebuild, but certainly in the sense that what began some years ago now is still going on.

As you say, the players bar a few are simply not fit for purpose, the appointment of Parkinson certainly hasn’t started a fire under any meaningful arse, and it’s hard to see anything but minute improvements/regression on a week by week basis. Like running on a treadmill, Sunderland seem to be expending all their effort on staying in the same place.

Your natural reaction as a fan is the only defence against the bleakness of the situation; for all that criticism and complaint is cathartic, it’s barely worth more than the digital pages it’s often written on. There is some small comfort to the powerlessness of fandom, I feel, and it’s that small comfort that I can still take.

Nothing I write or do will influence the outcome of this scenario, and so while I’m not content in the traditional sense of the word to sit and await a pleasing outcome, I am at least safe in the knowledge that I won’t be going anywhere. The buzz will return. It would be lovely if we could string three passes together though.

Sunderland v Blackpool - Sky Bet League One Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

So the second most inept manager in SAFC’s history wants Will WILL NOT SCORE Grigg on loan. Can you pass my details onto Mr Grayson and if he tells me where and when he wants him I will drive him and any of the other tw*ts at our beloved club that he wants at my expense. The first two in my wagon are McGreedy and Maguire.

So poor Parkinson has had a busy week - so did 30000+ Sunderland fans but at least they turned up, including the two fantastic fans from Belfast on the SAFC Fan TV channel hosted by Shaun.

I think lads it’s your duty to represent us SAFC fans through your media links and make sure that Parkinson sees it, and he resigns cos he is a disgrace and a coward not fit for purpose.


William & Jarvis

Ed’s Note [Damian]: William! How’s the dog?

Truth be told Roker Report ironically doesn’t - and shouldn’t - exist as a representative of all Sunderland fans, because it has to be representative of all Sunderland fans, if you catch my meaning? That is to say that while the general consensus may appear to swing one way in certain circles, there’s nothing to say that opinion is shared throughout the entirety of the fan base.

While I’m personally aware of many, many Roker Report contributors that would be happy to see the back end of Parkinson, I’m not so convinced. Such is the nature of our relationship with fans as content creators that it wouldn’t be prudent or even fair for Roker Report as an entity to wholly condemn anyone without (I would argue) a lot more cause than the manager has so far given. That isn’t to say he’s class and we want him kept, but rather that measured representation of all opinions is more in keeping with our aims as an organisation.

That all being said, it’s hard to disagree with your frustrations.

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