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Fan Letters: How do Sunderland supporters want to see their owners run the club?

With nowt much else going on right now, discussion today turns back to Sunderland’s ownership and how fans would like their club to be run. What are your thoughts? Send us an email:!

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

Dear Roker Report,

A fan for over 50 years now, I follow SAFC from here in France regularly, my parting shot before, during and after every game is... ‘keep believin’’. We need to.

I watched the Netflix episodes with keen interest, anguish, horror even at some of the things being done, e.g. Will Grigg saga?? Bad move I fear, but if he does come good we’ll be happy.

Donald’s passion is great, not known that from an owner for a while, he can be great for us and I agree with some of the other fans’ comments recently, give him and Parkinson time, great to have immediate success but we need to build.

We’re a passionate bunch at SAFC, we want to see good things on and off the field, but I do think at times we just need to support the team, not scream at them as seen on STID.

Here’s hoping for a good finish to the season, whatever happens with the lockdown measures, and may Donald. Parkinson and the team build a successful future we can be proud of.

Martin Garfoot

Ed’s Note [Gav]: As I have noted many times on these pages, I just don’t see Sunderland having a positive future under this owner, who has made it very clear that he himself cannot fund this club beyond the level we find ourselves at currently. I agree that Stewart seems a nice man - he’s been nothing but pleasant to me in my limited interactions with him - but ultimately it is the football club that I have at heart, and not the man who owns it.

Sunderland need to find a way of operating that gets us back to being competitive, both in League One and the Championship. I believe that to be competitive, successful and put plans in place that can stabilise Sunderland over the long term that we need a clearer corporate and footballing structure. We need an owner willing to embrace data and analytics in their approach to running both the business, and the footballing side of the operation. We need people in charge who are the best people we can get in those roles, who really want to be part of giving Sunderland a better future, with forward-thinking, enthusiastic individuals below them.

This is, of course, what most football clubs aspire for - but that doesn’t mean that Sunderland shouldn’t look to adopt such an approach right now. If anything, being in the third tier affords us with a great opportunity to hit the reset button and lay foundations for which we can build from and be successful not just now, but in five or ten years.

That’s my ideal vision for Sunderland, and sadly I don’t believe Stewart Donald is capable of running us in a manner with such an attention to detail, nor does he have the finances behind him even if he wanted to.

When Stewart does eventually sell, and that is his intention, he will go with our best wishes.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Can you give us an update on the good works I’m sure the Sunderland players are doing during the crisis? I’m sure there’s some good work going on - I can’t imagine the likes of Luke O’Nien just sitting around doing nothing...

Looking forward to hear about them.

John Liddell

Ed’s Note [Gav]: O’Nien and his little brother have been doing live fitness classes for people on social media. You’re right... you can’t imagine him sitting around doing nothing. I reckon this is probably torturing O’Nien more than anyone!

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