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Fan Letters: “What can a new, rich owner do to a League One team? We have salary cap” asks Peter

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RR reader Peter wonders how much of an impact new ownership can actually have on Sunderland whilst we remain in League One, and have a salary cap to contend with. Got something to say? RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

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

Dear Roker Report,

What can a new, rich owner do to a League One team? We have salary cap.

Peter Thunman

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Plenty. The structure of our football club is rotten, and badly in need of investment. We have stripped back every single department since dropping out of the Premier League and that needs to be built back up - we need a proper recruitment department, data and analytics department, a proper corporate structure, a proper footballing structure, we need to invest in young players, in the academy, in developing links in other countries and with other clubs. There are so many ways a new owner can impact this club that doesn’t just involve spunking fortunes on first team players.

FBL-FRA-LIGUE1-MARSEILLE Photo by BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

An open letter to Phil Parkison...

Dear Phil,

In light of the scintillating performance against MK Dons it may seem superfluous to make any suggestions to further improve the team. However, I strongly believe that even greater heights of delirious joy for the fans will actually be reached if you could gently suggest the players do the following:

1) Pass the ball forwards - forwards usually means towards the opposition goal at the far end of the pitch (directly opposite our own goal).

2) It’s (probably) unlikely that our keeper will cry if nobody has passed him the ball for 5 minutes.

3) Pass the ball to our own players - I’ve no doubt that opposition players are very grateful for the passes we’ve sent them but most people in the modern game now believe that this is not the most effective way to play.

4) Understand that the pitch doesn’t end at the nearest edge of the opposition penalty box. There are actually several yards of pitch beyond that. It really is true!

5) It is categorically not true that Sunderland players alone risk a particularly severe dose of Coronavirus if they spend more than a few seconds in the opposition penalty area.

6) Travelling with the ball at your feet at a speed somewhat higher than a comfortable stroll can frighten the opposition. Particularly if this occurs in the centre of the pitch and is in the forward direction (See point no. 1). Now I appreciate that frightening the opposition may seem anti-social and doesn’t come naturally to the players, but once again, I’m afraid it’s a necessary feature of the modern game.

7) Many people nowadays actually believe that kicking the ball at the opposition goal (that rectangular thing at each end of the pitch with a net) after getting close to it is quite an effective way of getting the ball into the net - rather than kicking it as high as possible into the air from wherever you happen to be on the pitch. Rumour has it that if the ball does land in the net a number of times there is a greater probability of the match being won.

8) Footballers, naturally, like to have a lie down during a match particularly if an opposition player is nearby. They are delicate creatures, of course, but opposition players do tend to favour lying down near the Sunderland penalty area. This should be actively discouraged.

I do appreciate that there’s a lot of information here and putting the above into practice will probably take several months of intensive training (and very possibly require taking advice from specialists outside the club) but if you start now I’m confident that it will enable us to reach the play-offs next season. Or perhaps the season after.

Ged Doonan

Sunderland v Carlisle United: EFL Trophy Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The views of Robin Middlemiss on Danny Graham and his drinking exploits reminded me very much of a game I saw in the late 60’s.

The first half was dire and the newly signed “superstar” Slim Jim Baxter was, at best, anonymous and frankly we were lucky to trail at home by 1 goal.

Come the second half a genius of a player - the same who was a first half anonymity - appeared directing the show, harrying the opposition and spraying wonder passes, and we emerged 4-1 up, if my memory is right. Baxter scored twice and had a hand in the others.

A wag close to me said “great man when he has time to sober up from last night!”

There was possibly a grain of truth in that.

Andrew Bailey

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Different days. Most of them smoked 40 fags a day and ate a full english before the game! The professionalism of the game these days is completely different.

England Fans Arrive Ahead of Algeria Clash
What on earth is this monstrosity?!
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I never thought I’d get to this point. I’ve been a fan my whole life and always watched the team through the good (very few) and the bad. But now I’ve got to the point where many Sunderland fans already are and I’m turning my back on the club.

It is having too much impact on my life and my mental health. Sitting and watching a turgid 2-1 defeat to MK Dons soured my evening, sulking for the night and without meaning to, taking it out on my family. I just can’t let this happen anymore.

I won’t be watching the team for the foreseeable, I just hope a day comes where we can all tune back in to a team and club to be proud of.

Gareth Fisher

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Sorry to hear that, Gareth, but you aren’t the only person who can’t stomach watching streams of the games anymore. Find something more calming to do like, I dunno..... fishing?! Take care marra!