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Should Sunderland fans protest?

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Would you support protest action against the owner/the refusal to sack the Sunderland manager/a litany of other reasons in order to enact change at our football club?

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - The Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Gav says...

Yes. I’ve officially had enough. Clearly we are being taken for granted - 33,000+ on the gate on Saturday shows that the crowds will remain high regardless of the mess we are in.

So what else can we do? The owner knows this. He’s clearly going to stick with Parkinson through January, which I feel is a huge mistake because he’s quite clearly not good enough.

I honestly feel helpless and, as a supporter, I feel like I’m running out of options. If I don’t turn up then who ultimately cares? Clearly, ranting and raving on here is doing nothing. So would taking part in some form of protest be more poignant? Would it urge Donald to act - to change the manager and hire people to run the club on his behalf, or to sell up? Would he continue to ignore the supporters? I don’t know, but it has to be worth a try.

I’m gutted that it has come to this.

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

Tom Atkinson says...

This weekend fans voiced their disapproval by vocally stating that they wanted Phil Parkinson removed from the job. To be fair, who can blame them? A timid, unimaginative side struggled to a draw against one of the league’s worst sides.

Stewart Donald needs to act, Phil Parkinson looks bereft of ideas and has offered zero improvement to the team. If I was me, I’d cut my losses and bring in someone capable of reinvigorating this side.

Nobody in the Sunderland side was capable of committing and opposition player and making something happen with the ball at their feet. That stems from a total lack of confidence - something the manager needs to foster.

It’s simply not good enough, and unless Stewart Donald acts, then fans will definitely vote with their feet. I’d suggest they congregate outside the stadium whilst the game is happening.

Something has to give.

Ipswich Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

David Holloway says...

Protests tend to make toxic atmospheres worse and usually end up making a divided community even more divided.

Often protests lose sight of what they are attempting to achieve and as events move so do the targets of the protestors.

Anyone from the management or from the ownership who was there today will know full well what the fans views are on the performances, on the results and on the manager. They will know that it isn't working and change is needed.

However - the reality is that Stewart Donald is in a difficult position, albeit one he created.

Our season is hanging by a thread. The transfer window is about to open. Is now the time to shake things up? As fans we would all say yes. But is it that simple?

Will a protest help you pull the trigger or make you pull up the drawbridge?

We all want change. We want a change of manager and many want change upstairs. Changing owners will take months and may not even be possible, protesting will not make it easier.

So to protest or not to protest. All I would say is that to have any chance of success any organised protest will require a common purpose and discipline. These are two qualities that are not easy to harness in a divided fanbase, so any organised movement will need to proceed with extreme care if it wants to extract a positive outcome, whatever that may be.

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

Michael Graham says...

It’s a really tough situation because we are all suffering. Personally, I’m finding it harder and harder to even get myself to the match these days, and that’s because all expectation and hope of seeing something positive has just been eroded away until, probably, only duty remains.

Some of that is unquestionably down to the product that Parkinson is delivering, and nothing I say here is a defence of him. But, no, I couldn’t personally support protest action.

I’m just of the belief that this is a lot more personal than if should be. If, for example, Kevin Phillips had come in and done the same, I’m pretty sure we’d all saying he’s had his hands tied by very poor recruitment and should be given time and a transfer window before he could be judged.

And fairly so too, by the way. Recruitment is the reason we are where we are. Lee Cattermole, Josh Maja, and George Honeyman... hell, even Adam Matthews, have left and are playing at a higher level. Our player of the year from last season, Aidan McGeady, has not turned up this season and is all but gone now too. They’ve all been replaced on the cheap by significantly lesser lights.

With Honeyman and Cattermole, the heart from last season’s team has been ripped out. With McGeady and Maja, you can say the same of the quality. None of it, possibly McGeady aside, can be even remotely blamed on Parkinson.

With last summer’s recruitment, we were always heading for this. This was Jack Ross’ squad and even he was struggling to hold a promotion challenge together. Parkinson could, and should be doing better than he is, but it feels far too much like an opportunistic witch-hunt to remove a manager no one really wanted than I personally believe it reasonably should be.

Donald has made a lot of mistakes but he’s trying to change things. He’s sought out investment and he’s identified the need to spend it on the recruitment at the club. We all want that. Fans also wanted change and wanted Ross sacked, so it feels fair to give that positive change we wanted a reasonable chance to happen. I don’t think we are at that stage right now.

What was noticeable from the Bolton game was that, although the quality isn’t there, the players are certainly playing for Parkinson. The desire was very high, and that’s a positive sign that he CAN turn it around.

Ultimately, I think over the last few months there has been an acknowledgement within the club that change is required. A manager has been sacked, investment, or resources at least, has been secured, and changes are happening behind the scenes. So, aside from getting rid of Parkinson, who has had an atrocious start but not even one transfer window, I don’t see what a protest would hope to achieve, and I don’t think Parkinson has had an even remotely fair chance to do the job yet.