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“Let’s stop with the negativity and accent these positives and as fan groups, plead with the owner and manager to stay. As fans, let’s build a scaffolding of support of our great club” says RR reader Rob Jones. Email:!

Sunderland v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve engaged in a keyboard campaign on FB to admonish both the fans and fan groups who have been engaged in negative campaigns against the coach and owner.

While I understand and appreciate the frustrations of recent years, I’ve argued for patience. This might be because I’ve supported this club since the early 195Os. I’ve seen a few ups and downs in this time and I’ve heard a lot of grumbles walking across the Wear Bridge over the years too. However, (and anticipating cries of OK Boomer) I can’t remember anything like the current vitriol.

For the past fifty years I’ve lived in Australia, and fan groups like RR, ALS and R&WA keep me up to date. I watch the games via the net or on replay. I’m an International Member.

The recent moves by the aforementioned fan groups have dismayed me as has the negativity expressed by subscribers to these groups.

Let’s get one thing clear: fans don’t pay to have a say in club operations. They pay to access entertainment. If that entertainment isn’t to our liking, we don’t have to pay at all. ’Caveat emptor’ - buyer beware. While we’ve always been free to offer opinion; in the past that has been between fans and from the terraces.

With advent of social media, ticket holders can now also engage in criticism that is far more pervasive; even, as we’ve seen, directly aimed at the accounts of players, manager and the owner. I believe that when I support anything, this involves a preparedness to accept that things may not always go my way.

That there is more to my support of the team than winning. Sun’lun’ Til I die embodies that belief. If I wanted winning I’d have succumbed to my son’s support of Liverpool! I’d argue that I got more joy out of the effort we showed at Fleetwood, even though we only drew, than many of the times we’ve fallen over the line for 3 points.

In summary. The owner’s done a creditable job. I don’t blame him for going silent given the crap dished out to him this last year. Who wouldn’t? Parkie has shown that he’s getting the lads into form over the past few weeks. The lads looked good at Blackpool, better at Donnie and better still at Fleetwood.

Let’s stop with the negativity and accent these positives and as fan groups, plead with the owner and manager to stay. As fans, let’s build a scaffolding of support of our great club.

Rob Jones

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I admire your blind faith towards the club, but I think there are many things that are unavoidable and simply burying your head in the sand won’t help matters.

If we’re clutching at straws I’d give Parkinson some credit for improving the fitness of the players, which was obviously an issue under Jack Ross, but I remain unconvinced that we’ve seen any major improvements in tactics, performance or in front of goal. I remain convinced that he’s the wrong man for the job and that this will all end in tears - I’d love to be proven wrong, but I just cannot see it. He lacks charisma, his football is largely awful to watch and I don’t believe for one minute that he’s got the character to be a manager who becomes accustomed to delivering winning football.

Simply telling people to stop being negative is missing the point. If there was nothing to be negative about then people wouldn’t be up in arms. There are valid reasons to be concerned about the running of the club and just deciding to ignore it won’t do us any good. It’s pretty obvious that the club lacks structure and leadership, and until Donald ruthlessly addresses those problems then the calls for him to go will only grow stronger.

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

Dear Roker Report,

To say that this team is not performing up to standard is an understatement. One could blame the owner, the management, the ref and the opposition. But, it seems to me that the players are somehow overwhelmed by the task and by the expectations that comes by playing for SAFC. Why else would we start every game on the back foot, conceding poor goals and watch the opposition sink deep. We must have some kind of a record in conceding early!?

I have been following the club since 1998 and can not say its so much fun in doing so anymore. Meeting sunderland is three points up for grabs for any opposition, no matter their name. What we need is one or eleven players to show why they have the privilege to play for Sunderland and not Fleetwood or any other sh*t-team plying their trade in this league. Because having just watched the game, I for one can not tell why or any difference in quality. They keep going on about the opposition wanting a big scalp and playing better because it is us their playing. Maybe our players could dig deep and show why that is by start playing with less fear and stop giving away “free scalps as souvenirs”.

Donald out and Parkinson was never invited!

Erik Sjostedt (supporter in Sweden)

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Leadership comes from the top, really. We have none and have had none for years, and the team will always suffer until someone addresses it. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse every single player of not having the stomach to play for Sunderland, but there are a significant number who I don’t believe are up to it.

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