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Fan Letters: Sunderland’s owner needs to sort out the club’s leadership, on and off the pitch!

Sunderland seemingly lack leaders not only on the pitch, but off it. Can we still salvage something from this season if our owner acts quickly to address the glaring issues we face? Email us:!

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

Dear Roker Report,

I do not expect you to print this message. I know from experience that you will not print anything that differs completely to your point of view. However, just for my own peace of mind, I am sending it in anyway.

Your recent cast for votes regarding a Director of Football at Sunderland is so seriously wrong, it is comical. Just what exactly would this grand “Director” do? Would he/she go down the road of cronyismand hire half a dozen more worthless employees, or would they only sanction the recruitment of player’s they deem good enough for SAFC, whilst at the same time ignoring all the sound advice around them?

Let’s not forget the hefty salary this suited and booted Bozo would be receiving. Look, on the terraces we all know what is needed, whether you agree or not. We need someone to come in and kick these pampered little Barbie dolls up the backside (oh no, political correctness warning) and let them know the privileged position they are in playing for our club.

Why can’t you grasp the concept of what we really are?

We are SAFC, and we want players who will sweat blood for the shirt. We would rather go down all guns blazing, than go down with half hearted morons who do not give a stuff about our inheritance. All a Director of Football would do at a club such as ours, would be clog things up even more, and make for future driftwood lying around being paid good wages just to turn up and train.

Go on, ask the rest of the fans. I will be absolutely amazed if they disagree with my feelings in general about this daft post, or indeed what we need.


Ed’s Note [Gav]: Hi Hughie. Just regarding your allegation that you “know from experience” that we “will not print anything that differs completely to your point of view”, here are just a few examples of where we’ve ‘printed’ your letters on our site. As you can see, we have never not used something you’ve sent us, so I’m a little perplexed about the source of your beef here.

Dear Roker Report,

After defeat at Gillingham, how worse can things get? When can we wake up from this nightmare?

Our beloved club is clearly leaderless on almost every level. Now Methven has gone; no doubt he could “talk the talk”, but no-one at Sunderland AFC can “walk the walk”. We are totally rudderless drifting out of control with no-one stepping up to take command.

All the major decision-makers at Sunderland are part-timers. Both Messrs. Donald and Methven cited the pressure of being away from family because they never moved to the North East when they took over. Reading press reports it seems like most of the Board are also “part-time” as well.

We need experienced full-time professional management on site and quickly. Our Directors need more in their Job Profile than friendship with Stewart Donald. Mr Donald says Juan Sartori will take over from Mr Methven but Sartori is a Uruguayan Senator. Is he going to commute from Montevideo? That’s a 21 hour journey time - we will we soon be hearing stories about him feeling the pressure from long-distance air travel too.

Everything needs a big shake-up to get confidence back in the club. Nigel Pearson could have done it but he supposedly lost out (don’t laugh) to Phil Parkinson!! There are other big names out there who can shake things up (Sam Allardyce comes to mind) but they are not going to come to the SoL for just the love of it – they are going to want a good salary, a say in the decision-making; and probably some shares in the club too. Right now, that is not a very attractive proposition while Stewart Donald is the owner.

We are in a very bad way and urgent action is needed promptly. Mr Donald needs to stand aside. Quoting Leo Amery to Neville Chamberlain in 1940, “In the name of God, Go!!”


Ed’s Note [Gav]: The club feels leaderless right now. I’ve written previously about the need for a Director of Football at Sunderland, chiefly because I believe the burden of leading the football side of the club should not fall upon an unqualified owner or someone who isn’t based in Sunderland at least six days a week.

If I was Stewart Donald I’d have a checklist which needs to be worked through in the next fortnight. At the top would be sacking a manager. Next would be finding his replacement. Then, I’d hire a Director of Football. Then I’d hire a CEO.

This season can be saved but only if the owner acts quick. Right now, it feels like we’re all sat around waiting for movement that isn’t likely to happen. We’re stuck in a rut and treading water until January, but let’s be realistic - how much change can we actually enact in the upcoming window when there’s so much uncertainty at the club?

I don’t know who would want to sign for us that will also realistically improve us - we’re just not that appealing at present, off and on the pitch.

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