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Fan Letters: “No ambition!” - Is Sunderland AFC’s transfer policy too weak to compete?

“I am 82 years old and have supported SAFC since I was 9 but I feel now I have had enough!” writes Sunderland veteran fan and RR reader Alan Gilroy. Got something to say? Email us:


I see you leave out Honeyman completely! from the 50 worst players ever, I can accept most of the ones that are on there but a lot made only a handful of appearances, so how about this? what about having the 50 worst players who were captain of Sunderland? or who made over 50 appearances?

One name would standout ……………..George Honeyman! aka useless!

Don’t forget we finished 5th in div 3 and he struggled really struggled to have a positive effect on the team and the results, so when he struggles at 5th place in div 3 what planet are you on to think he is anything like a player who deserves to be at Sunderland. Notice not even Rochdale never mind Real Madrid are hovering trying to poach him away!

P Leed

Ed’s Note [Damian]: I didn’t write those worst/best player ever lists, P, but you can rest assured that if I had George Honeyman wouldn’t have been involved in either (so far). I believe a Mssr. Graham Falk is responsible for the listicles.

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

OMG what next, Cypriot 3rd division player. Just how LOW can this club sink. I am 82 years old and have supported SAFC since I was 9 but I feel now I have had enough, year in year out a team and board without any ambition what so ever. Enough is enough. Thank you for a big NOTHING!

Alan Gilroy

Ed’s Note [Damian]: Let’s be honest with ourselves Alan; if you’ve been following Sunderland for 71 years I doubt an extra stint in League One with a relatively unknown back-up U23s ‘keeper is going to spoil all the fun for you. There’s time yet.

As it happens I share your concern about the ambitions of the owners when it comes to this transfer window, but I do believe that we have to temper our expectations with the knowledge that we’ll be looking for players that aren’t ‘coming down here for a big project’ - since that clearly brings no guarantees - but rather that are being scouted based on the potential that they’re affordable and fit for purpose.

Ambition isn’t something that I can envision a lot of when it comes to this transfer window. I’ve no doubt the owners had the elusive ‘investors’ in mind in the event of promotion, and that may have seen a bit of ambition creep in, but without the readies up front it’s back to the drawing board and the inevitable “shrewd bit of business”.

Sunderland v Portsmouth - Sky Bet League One Play-off - Semi Final - First Leg - Stadium of Light Photo by Simon Cooper/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

We need to get the investment in quickly and get some decent signings in, especially now that Cattermole has gone. Get Shankland in as soon as possible, a back up goalie and some wide players.

Anthony Prior

Ed’s Note [Anthony]: Sadly Anthony, as briefly mentioned above, I doubt the investment you speak of is still coming our way. Perhaps it’s something for the future but I get the distinct feeling that it’s based very much on our evident ability to progress up the table and then back up the leagues - something we’ve so far proven unable to do.

The reality is that we’re relying on the current owners and whatever funds we have to drive this transfer window. Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have both said on numerous occasions that we don’t need to sell players in order to bring them in - whether you believe that or not is up to you. At the very least it’s clear that we need to shift players in order to bring them in, if only due to the outrageous salaries some of our current crop command. It stands to reason then that we’ll see the departures of the likes of Oviedo, Love, etc.

We’ve got the ‘keeper, the Shankland deal looks dead in the water and I personally have no idea why a player of McGeady’s calibre would stick around, so I believe bringing in a wide player or two is rather urgent, particularly considering Gooch’s drop-off in form in the second half of last season. But if it were up to me we’d break the bank bringing in half a dozen players or more. I can’t see that happening, at least not the “bank” part.

Sunderland Pre-Season Training Session Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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