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Fan Letters: Pressure mounts on Stewart Donald to change Sunderland’s fortunes

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“All Donald has to do is watch a handful of games himself and it is perfectly obvious that Parkinson has no idea what’s going on” The p**s taking party seems to be ramping up once more, much to the dismay of the Wearside faithful. Thoughts? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk!

Dear Roker Report,

It’s no secret that I don’t want Parkinson at my club, I have never supported his appointment and I want him gone as soon as possible, yet I don’t think he carries the bulk of the blame.

He was out of work and someone offered him a significant amount of cash over a ludicrously long period of time to take over the biggest club in the league with the best facilities - why wouldn’t he take the job? If I was in his position I’d have taken it too so I don’t blame Parkinson at all for that. In a strange way, I also don’t really blame him for the woeful results under his management.

Yes, he is responsible for the team and tactics but let’s face it, we knew what we were getting! He plays a completely turgid brand of football and that’s exactly what we’re seeing. He plays hoofball and that’s exactly what we’re playing. He prefers to play with a very different sort of player to those we have so it can’t be a surprise to anyone that he can’t get a tune out of our squad.

All of this was absolutely predictable from the moment his name came up as a candidate. I, and many of my fellow supporters, could see his appointment was wrong and what would happen under his management so I’m not remotely surprised that exactly what I predicted has come to pass.

What really grinds my gears is our illustrious owner, Mr Donald. I really should point out that I have been a strong and vocal supporter of his from the moment he arrived at the club. As such I have been perfectly willing to forgive him his mistakes. He spends a comical amount of money on a striker who was never going to be good enough and I can forgive him. He did so with the best of intentions and I can see his logic, even if it was deeply flawed. He appoints entirely the wrong manager on a ridiculously long contract and I can even forgive him for that, IF he recognises his mistake and does something to rectify the situation. The problem with Donald is that the only thing he’s done is make matters worse.

He made the mistake of appointing Parkinson so he should be man enough to own up to his mistakes and do something about it. He hasn’t done that at all; he’s run away and hidden like a coward, refusing to communicate with the fans at all. We deserve better than that!

He made the mistake of appointing Parkinson because the decision was made by a bunch of part-timers with little or no real knowledge of football so to fix that, he needs to bring in someone to the Board who really understands football and has experience at the sharp end. He hasn’t done that and has given no indication that he intends to do so. That isn’t good enough as all it does is sustain the circumstances that are likely to compound the problem by making the same mistakes again.

Instead of recognising his mistake and sacking Parkinson, Donald has decided that such a move would be too humiliating. The poor bairn!!! So instead of admitting his mistake and acting decisively to fix the problem, he decides that a better strategy is to offer a failing manager the chance to appoint coaches in his own image and give him a transfer window to try to reshape the squad to play his turgid hoofball. What sort of idiot would do that?

Part of our problem has been recruitment and it has been that way for years so I was really pleased when Donald arrived and talked of a Dortmund model going forward. Great idea Mr Donald, except that you have done absolutely nothing so far to make that happen and the majority of our recruitment has certainly not followed that model. That is Donald’s responsibility and he is failing.

Possibly worst of all is that having made the mistake of appointing Parkinson, he is now wilfully ignoring all of the available evidence. Let’s just consider a handful of facts:

Our previous manager, who wasn’t deemed to be good enough, was doing significantly better than Parkinson with exactly the same players. Why would that suggest that Parkinson is doing well enough to spend our money?

In many ways I’m pleased to see McGeady leaving but the fact is that Ross was able to get a tune out of him while Parkinson can’t. Surely that must suggest that Parkinson is a worse man-manager.

Both Donald and Parkinson have said that we have a good squad for League One that only required a little extra and that view was certainly justified based on our performance last season and the position we were in when Ross left yet all of the available statistics show that since Parkinson’s arrival we are playing to the standard of a team flirting with relegation.

All Donald has to do is watch a handful of games himself and it is perfectly obvious that Parkinson has no idea what’s going on based on his post-match comments (when he chooses to make any). It’s either that or he’s smoking some weird stuff before the match because he certainly isn’t watching the same game as everyone else!

All of this and more suggests that Donald was wrong to appoint Parkinson, is wrong to back Parkinson and wrong to allow him a transfer window to spend our money to weaken the squad. Donald carries ultimate responsibility because he is the owner and it is shameful the way he is behaving.

I have already stated that I will not attend a match while Parkinson is still our manager and I stand by that decision as my only way of exercising my opposition to the way the club is being run. I have also already stated that my respect and support for Donald would deteriorate every day he delayed doing something decisive and proactive. As it now seems certain that Parkinson will take us into January and no doubt further towards the bottom of the table, my respect and support for Donald has now also gone. He clearly isn’t up to running a club like Sunderland and isn’t equal to our ambitions so I would urge him to sell to an owner who does have the ambition, resources and ability to take us forward.

Thanks for what you’ve done Mr Donald but your recent conduct suggests it’s time you move on before you do any more damage.

Andrew White

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Succinct, Andrew, and an entirely reasonable perspective.

As the Devil’s advocate I will say that Parkinson’s inability to draw better performances from a pool of mediocre players that had already failed to escape League One once before he arrived isn’t any indicator of his potential to remedy the issues in the squad. It’s a bit like saying you aren’t allowed a chance because you couldn’t draw blood from a stone. If anything, Parkinson’s experience of this division and building teams for promotion is the only reason he’s still in a job, and one of the rare causes for some degree of optimism going into the January transfer window.

But that’s just me. The vast majority would agree with you.

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

If you’re looking for some cause of the “ poison “affecting the club...look no further than the likes of yourselves and all the social media crap out there. Really, who cares if Parkinson sends in his assistant for press? Ross did it, was there an inquisition? No. I get it you dislike the idea of the bloke being the manager and you want a director of football FFS blah blah blah boring ; drop it. If you have nothing decent to write about on a particular day don’t make people feel more negative by just stirring shit up about nothing important. I reiterate . At times you yourselves and your ilk are a cause of the “poison” . Think about it, what you write is being read by people that then repeat your thoughts in the pubs possibly passing them off as their own thoughts creating more negativity and so on and so on. Butterfly affect. Stop the negativity, try being positive. If you can’t,then keep it shut and that goes for all of us at this difficult time.

Colin Rusby

Ed’s Note [Damian]: So fanzines can be wantonly blamed for division and fostering negativity, but they can’t question the actions of the manager because they’re meaningless and without significance? There’s something missing there.

I go blue in the face saying this but Roker Report is a group effort. We have over 40 contributors, each with individual opinions that are given an equal platform in an ongoing effort to represent the diverse opinions of the fan base as a whole. There is not now nor will there ever be a concentrated agenda at this outlet. In fact, I myself have just written a surely unpopular article on the subject of keeping Parkinson. If you find a great deal of content coming out of the site that displays some sort of general consensus it is simply that; the culmination of the majority of the fan base feeling a certain way about a certain thing, because every contributor is a fan.

We shall continue to provide as wide a range of views as possible on the subject of Sunderland AFC and all it entails, much to your chagrin Colin.

If you don’t like what you see you are of course free to look away.