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Fan Letters: Mike Ashley as Sunderland owner, anyone?!

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RR reader Barry ponders the incredibly unlikely scenario whereby controversial Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley ends up buying Sunderland from Stewart Donald. Seems a mental suggestion, but what would you think about that? Let us know... RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk!

FBL-ENG-FACUP-OXFORD-NEWCASTLE Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I read with an fair amount of trepidation, the article about Mike Ashley buying us. My first reaction was one of horror. After a couple of days though, I asked myself if it would be a bad thing. Maybe not. As I see it he could buy us for significantly less than he paid for the barcodes and then sell us on in a few years, to an new owner who could take us to the next level, thus generating a good return on his investment. As for the “hole”in the finances: I am certain that that would not have happened under Ashley’s stewardship.

Before 40,000 Mackems lambast me as an Ashleyite let me clarify: He would treat our club exactly the same as them, but, who in our ranks wouldn’t take 13th in the PL and no debt. His methods in some quarters of his businesses are suspect but that can apply to many business men and is not really something for most of us fans to get too embroiled in. There are plenty such characters in football. After 58 years and 1 FA cup to show for it, it might be worth a shot. A visit to Sid James Park with Ashley at the helm would make thing even more interesting.

Barry

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I do get what you are saying - midtable, financially-stable Premier League obscurity sounds pretty good in fairness - but who could be arsed with the Mike Ashley circus at Sunderland? Half the problem with him is the baggage he carries from his other business ventures. He’s not a particularly warm person and whilst having a seriously rich yet financially-sensible owner is what we all want, I think personally that the next Sunderland owner has to be someone who really wants to own the club for the right reasons.

I think Mike Ashley’s Newcastle experience will have undoubtedly put him off ever getting back involved with football again, and who can blame him?

Newcastle United v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

EFL say that the season has got to be completed by 31st July, so only 67 days available from next Monday. The number of days required is 77 (21 days training and 56 days playing) so how can the season be completed with a full fixture list?

Only way to settle the issue is to reduce the number of games to be played by a group of 8, on a knock out basis.

Ann Wilson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: That certainly seems to be the suggestion Ann - that the teams who want to finish the season should be allowed to do so, whilst everyone else ends their seasons prematurely. I know it’s not usual to do so, but these are unusual times.

Personally I feel like the season needs to end and then resume safely at a later date, but it appears that those vying for promotion want to see something resembling an end to the current campaign. Before COVID hit, Sunderland were not on course for promotion, and I guess that this gives us a lifeline of sorts. Importantly for our owners, pursuing an end to the season - and perhaps getting us out of the league at a crucial time - could be their meal ticket out of Sunderland. We’re a far more attractive proposition as a 2nd tier club.