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Fan Letters: More Sunderland supporters give their thoughts on the #DonaldOut campaign

“I believe that until another owner buys Stewart Donald’s shares, the club is destined for an extended period in League One” writes RR reader Howard Turner. Got something to say? Email us:!

Sheffield United v Sunderland AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’m writing about the fans saying ‘be careful what we wish for’ when wanting rid of the chancer who owns us at the minute. I’ll start by saying ‘what is our record under his ownership?’. We’re sinking and sinking fast, he has no experience of owning a massive club.

He had the chance to get Nigel Pearson with SKP as his number 2. He wouldn’t pay the money for Pearson’s staff he wanted to bring. Our youth system has been destroyed. We have no youth coming through, no vision at all for the future.

His plan for the club has backfired massively, investing in nothing but substandard staff and trimming down expenditure has left the club weakened to an extent none of us could have imagined. To those with their heads in the sand saying ‘be careful what we wish for’ - why?

We are in the worst position in our history and there’s no sign of improvement whatsoever, so what exactly do you’s suggest? If the owner had any vision or football intelligence he’d know that Nigel Pearson was perfect to replace Jack Ross. The outlay would have been paid for by the end of the season by our increased attendance and most likely promotion.

He has spoken about this, that and the other, treating us like mugs over his ownership.

The fans who don’t want change in the ownership are without doubt mugs who have been totally taken in by Stewart Donald. I’d rather have Willy Wonka owning us - at least we’d get the chance of a golden ticket. Those umpa lumpas sing canny tunes as well.

A very pissed off Dave Robson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Some of the cutbacks that Donald has made have been entirely necessary, and I think that had he hired people to run the club day to day then we wouldn’t have been overly fussed with his approach to running the club and sorting out the running costs to a manageable level. I feel that when Methven and Davison left he had a fantastic opportunity to replace them on the board with a CEO and a Director of Football, yet instead opted to appoint two part-time non-execs who, despite having the best interests at heart, cannot possibly have the impact that we need them to have.

That, for me, is why Stewart must consider selling the club. If he’s not prepared to run Sunderland in the manner that many people deem as necessary then he ought to find someone who is. Not because he’s a bad person, because he isn’t, but because he’s often demonstrated he’s in over his head.

Regarding Pearson - I don’t think the full extent of his talks (or lack thereof) have been revealed with any clarity, but if he turned us down/was turned down on the basis that he wanted full autonomy to restructure the footballing side of the club then that tells you everything, really. Parkinson has been allowed to bring in a small number of backroom staff members with him so if Pearson wanted to change even more, you have to imagine that included the club’s recruitment team. That said, he ended up getting a Premier League job, so maybe we were never really in with a chance? Who knows.

Watford FC v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Leila Coker/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I write this email with frustration and sadness, as someone who has always followed the club from a distance, in Melbourne, Australia. I believe that until another owner buys Stewart Donald’s shares, the club is destined for an extended period in League One.

For a club with Sunderland’s infrastructure and supporter base, the club needs someone with capital and wealth like Ellis Short, but someone who cares about the club, and has the skill set to put the right people in positions to ensure the club can successfully realise its true potential.

He needs other investors to be able to achieve the full potential of Sunderland AFC.

I have no idea whether the South American or the Americans can invest, or more importantly, want to invest the monies the club needs to send it on an upward trajectory.

I am unsure if I am correct, but I think there is a distinct possibility with Stewart Donald that he needs to be involved in his other businesses just to keep his income stream.

This means he can only be part-time at Sunderland at best.

The buying and selling last year of players indicates that whoever selects players to come into the club is not very good at his job. Similarly, selling players like Maja and now McGeady do not bring confidence to supporters.

Incidentally, I was disappointed with the appointment of Ross but never understood the reasons for sacking him. Too many football clubs in the English Football League do this, without giving the time for a manager to prove himself.

Parkinson to date has been disastrous. However, we have not got long to wait until January, where we will see what is spent on players.

Howard Turner

Ed’s Note [Gav]: As I’ve mentioned above, the ‘part-time’ running of the club is a huge concern and a very valid one for you to have. Sunderland is far too big, too complicated and too important to be run from down the end of a phone whilst several other ventures also occupy Stewart’s attention.

Sunderland need several players, and January is an opportunity to strengthen the squad properly in order to mount a proper promotion bid.

I’m not particularly convinced that we’ll get everything that we need, but let’s wait and see. The previous three transfer windows overseen by this owner and his recruitment staff have been disappointing, so I won’t hold out any hope just yet.

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

Dear Roker Report,

I can’t bare to see my heart, my soul and my team decay like this - it’s as if Stewart Donald is doing this on purpose. It was the first time in 20 years I never went to a home game on Boxing Day - it’s still hurting now, but out of principle me and my sons decided to take their mother to the Bridges - yes, the bridges!

An hour and a half in Primark is much more enjoyable than see my team trying to play football. It would have been demoralising.

Me and my two sons will continue to stay away until Parkinson goes!

Andrew Clementson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t even think bad football could make me want to go shopping in the Bridges, but I applaud your integrity.

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