Dear Roker Report,
Over the last few years Sunderland fans have come in for a lot of stick and even been blamed for our current plight. It’s absolute nonsense.
What we’ve been through over such a sustained period would have tested any club’s fanbase, but would they be turning out in our numbers?
‘No’ is the answer.
I’ve heard our friends up the road chunter on about how they would still be supported whatever happened. Aye, well they didn’t when Adiles was in charge and they were getting 9000 crowds. Of course that was before the Premier League was invented or, as a lot of people think (especially the media), football was invented.
Anyway, back to my point and Sunderland being fickle or, as Chris Brown the ex Sunderland striker was quoted the other day, “The worst fans”.
I had to laugh the other day when Liverpool fans were calling in on Talksport slating Juergen Klopp, saying he was ‘clueless’. Sorry, I should also say this is Liverpool who sky and a lot of people in football will say are the best fans... bollocks.
World club champions, European cup holders, they are going to win the league by some distance, were unbeaten until 3 or 4 games ago and their fans are ringing into talk shows complaining because they have gone out of the FA cup and slating Klopp saying he’s clueless. Now that’s fickle!
Then you have Man City, who can’t fill their ground despite spending a billion on players and having a terrific manager playing quality football. Tottenham players are even having to confront fans in the stands because of the abuse they are getting!
So Mr Chris Brown and everyone else out there quick to slag off our fans, think on that before slagging off Sunderland fans. We’ve put up - and are still putting up with - a lot that many other clubs’ fans wouldn’t put up with. All fans are fickle, all fans boo players, but we are nowhere near the worst.
On the other side, if you do well for Sunderland you are treated like a god.
We are not the worst fans by any means.
Ed’s Note [Alex]: Couldn’t have said it better myself, Paul. I think a lot of fans of top clubs need to get some perspective, to realise the grass is a lot less green if, instead of only being in the lower end of the Premier League’s top half, you have to contend with far more profound issues like a double relegation or administration.
I absolutely hate seeing our fans come under scrutiny from an outsider when we’re seen as being too negative; it’s obviously even worse when it comes from a former player. The experience the average Sunderland fan goes through in his or her lifetime is enough to turn a fairweather fan away from football completely, so if we want to boo, then that’s precisely what we’re going to do. We’ve more than earned the rights to our opinions on the direction our football club has taken.
Dear Roker Report,
I’m curious, what do you think about the upcoming series of Sunderland Til I Die? It seems to have received an awful lot of negativity on social media because people just don’t want to see us fail twice at Wembley again or be embarrassed by our owners.
What do you think?
Ed’s Note [Alex]: I’m in two minds about it all if I’m honest.
On one hand, I feel like our club has been turned into the main character of a slapstick comedy, with the regular viewers eager to see how we’ll comically mess everything up this time round. This isn’t the image any Sunderland fan wants for their club, but it’s what we’ll look like in the eyes of many. Fulwell73 also appear quite happy to promote this rather degrading portrayal, confirming the new season’s release for April Fool’s Day and referring to the announcement as the ‘Donald and Methven Show’, no doubt alluding to the aforementioned’s depiction as incompetent owners meandering haphazardly through the day to day running of our football club. Oh well, I suppose we needed a new antagonist(s) following Martin Bain’s departure.
On the other hand, STID season 1 did a tremendous job of representing the Sunderland fans themselves: honest, hardworking people resolutely storming on through thick and thin, due to nothing but an unwavering passion for their football club. Everyone else, from the executive organizers to the players, was shown up as an absolute shambles, but the supporters are made to be the thoroughly decent people they truly are.
It’s important to bear in mind as well, though, that a lot of the playing staff we’ll see will be a lot more likeable - therefore doing the badge a much better service - than some of the mercenaries from the year prior. I’m looking forward to seeing the elation and drive on the faces of Max Power, Luke O’Nien and George Honeyman, to name just a few. They’re certainly a far cry from the likes of Lewis Grabban and James Vaughan, aren’t they?
Overall, I feel a mix of pride and shame, but I’m inclined to believe it’ll be more of the former than the latter. I hope so, anyway.