Dear Roker Report,
I really feel I have to speak out for what I hope is the silent majority because I’m getting seriously fed up with ‘fans’ making unwarranted and often personal attacks on our owners.
Just over a year ago, many of us would have given almost anything to be rid of Short’s ownership AND be debt free. It’s easy to forget just how desperate our situation was. We were in huge amounts of debt that was entirely unsustainable, we were losing tens of thousands more every week, we had players who had no interest in the club, a massively inflated wage bill and zero communication from the owners. In short, Sunderland AFC was dying and THAT is the reality of where we were.
Roll on a year and how different our situation is now! We have no debt (how many other clubs in any league can say that?), we are on a sound financial footing and looking to be in profit very soon, we have players who actually want to play for us, we have a wage bill that is rapidly coming under control and until recently, communication from the owners that is unheard of in virtually any other club in the land. THAT is the reality of where we are now and on top of all of that, we have owners who are still investing more in our squad than any other League 1 club by a considerable margin.
Many of our ‘fans’ have driven Donald from social media and forced him to retreat into the privacy of most other football club owners and that is entirely our fault. What do these idiots want? Do they really want new owners? I would say they should be VERY careful what they wish for because that route will take us back to ownership like Short’s. Donald and Methven took on the club when nobody else would touch it with an extended bargepole and that is to their credit. The situation the club is now in means that they could easily sell the club and make a profit but I fear we’d be landed with another faceless owner who cared more for profit than for the club and certainly the fans.
The ONLY thing that concerned me about talk of a takeover was that Donald’s role would be diminished. Frankly, I’d rather be stuck in the Championship or even League 1 with an owner like Donald than be in the Premiership with another Ellis Short!
This letter is not to the ‘fans’ who whine away every day, not realising just how lucky we are because I honestly don’t think they’re bright enough to understand the arguments. This letter is for Stewart Donald and I hope he reads it when he has a couple of minutes. I appreciate what you’ve done for my club and I believe that the vast majority of other Sunderland fans believe in you. These ‘fans’ do not represent the majority of Sunderland fans so please don’t let them grind you down. They’re idiots who have never had it so good and wouldn’t recognise good ownership if it kicked them in the teeth.
To Mr Donald and Mr Methven, I say thank you and I hope you’re with us for many years to come. Keep up the excellent work.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Absolutely bang on - I can’t disagree with a single word of what you’ve said. You’ll probably get a bit of stick for saying all of this but I think it has to be noted that there are people out there who are missing the point entirely.
Questioning is absolutely fine. Nobody can say otherwise.
But abuse is NOT OKAY. I’m not saying that people aren’t entitled to their opinion, or to question the owners - because that’d be daft and there are many things that do indeed warrant questioning - but don’t be abusive. Don’t sling mud around, calling people crooks, abusing people who are capable of having reasoned debates around pertinent issues.
That’s where some people seem to be missing the point here. We can sit and argue all day and night about the rights and wrongs of Sunderland’s current ownership but it should never venture into abuse. Some of the things I’ve seen said and written about them is frankly shocking, and the people who have effectively put an end to the open and transparent relationship that the club once had with fans ought to be ashamed of themselves really.
Dear Roker Report,
Having just read the latest fan letters post, I’m at a loss of what some supporters expect?
Nobody was more disappointed by failing to secure promotion last season (or the Checkatrade trophy for that matter) than myself! Throughout my time supporting Sunderland AFC (mid 1970’s) Sunderland have been, bar a few seasons/highs pretty terrible at worst and average at best.
But honestly what do we as supporters expect exactly? We have been taken over by a man who freely admits not having unlimited funds, but to his credit sold his ideas to Ellis Short allowing Ellis to get out of the club and leave the new owners a club virtually debt free. Personally I’m not totally unhappy of where we stand right now and look forward to seeing what Jack Ross can do in only his 2nd season in English football with a more balanced squad of lower league players.
Sure he need to be challenging for promotion pretty much from the get-go but he’s no fool and knows that as well. Hopefully with the higher wage earners off the books we can look forward to watching younger, hungrier players with a point to prove to help drive us forward.
I renewed my season ticket not in blind faith, like most of the last few (Sam Allardyce accepted – curse you FA!) seasons but in the fact that in most parts, I actually enjoyed coming to matches again and hope that under whatever regime we find running the club in the future, things aren’t/can’t be as bad as Moyes, Grayson and even Coleman served up.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Another sensible post - thanks for this. It’s reassuring me that I’m not going crazy after all... In all seriousness, you raise an important point here, one that I tried myself to stress in my Fan letters replies on Tuesday - we are a League One club and have to start acting like one until we get ourselves out of this godforsaken division.
That includes realigning our expectations. We will sign League One players with our League One budget, and won’t be throwing millions at getting ourselves our of the third tier. Once that becomes roundly accepted, we can all move forward.