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Fan Letters: “We deserve to be in League One!”

In today’s Fan Letters we discuss accepting our status as a League One club, and the idea of a mixed form of fan ownership. Got something to say? Drop us an email:!

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

Dear Roker Report,

I hope everyone is staying healthy. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Crichton’s diagnosis and prescription related to transfer policy. I would like to add two comments related to us, the fans. First, we are a League 1 club; we may have a huge fan base and revered history, but we are in League 1. We deserve to be in league 1. We as fans must accept this, if we want such a transfer policy as mentioned, we must be realistic about what that means. Second, young players, whether from the academy or purchased elsewhere, will not be given chances, if we fans are all over them, demand results, and demand experience. So we must be willing to lose sometimes when experience might allow us to win, we must be willing for them to make mistakes because they will happen. I think by and large our fans know this and are very positive, but it is just something important to remember.

Colter Lasley

Sunderland v Fleetwood Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for the letter, Colter. It’s a reminder that despite our size and stature I doubt there are many fan’s who would disagree that we’re very much a League 1 side right now. When we were last down here, Denis Smith trusted the young players to develop with the club. Who knows what will happen with the 2019-20 EFL season but it’s fair to say we hadn't done anywhere near enough before football was postponed to deserve a spot in the Championship. It could be that we can string some results together if the remaining games are played behind closed doors but, if not, let’s all hope we can make a better fist of it next term with a refreshed squad full of youngsters.

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

Dear Roker Report,

I know this is very far fetched for a lot of people but you are the biggest Sunderland page reporter around. We should do what celtic and other clubs do. 51% fan owned and 49% owned by someone with money . Get a proper board of Sunderland fans in . As I said I know it’s far fetched but I think you should start a campaign . Like £5 to buy a share up until we get a certain amount of money, and the maths would have to be worked out in advance . Hopefully you understand where I come from but our club is in pieces atm

Connlon Reilly

Ed’s Note [Rich]: There are a number of different models of fan ownership that operate across Europe, and in Germany the 50+1 law ensures that almost all football clubs are at least part fan owned. In Spain, the Socio membership model is well established and governs the biggest clubs in the world. In other places there are clubs that have a mixed ownership including between fans, municipal authorities and private individuals.

It may well be that, in the context of English football where the forces of global capital are at play, without a rich benefactor our ambitions as a club would have to be curtailed somewhat if we were to be fully fan owned. But when it comes to securing the existence our club for the future, an element fan ownership though a Supporter’s Trust could become vitally important, and I will be writing a lot more about this in the months ahead.

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