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Fan Letters: Phillips and Clough for the Sunderland job? Today’s letter certainly thinks so!

In today’s Fan Letters, Johnny talks about the ongoing issues with finishing the season while Mark argues that Sunderland should appoint Kevin Phillips and Nigel Clough to take the club forward. Email us at!

Sunderland v Leicester City- Premier League Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve just read an article in the Sunderland Echo about club’s voting for to end the season purely because they will gain a play off place or reach safety. It’s wrong on every level.

I am 100% certain that if a club chooses to vote for the end of the season then their season should be over. Those that want to play football and earn a place in the play offs should be afforded the opportunity to do so at the expense of those who choose not to play.

It would be wrong to force a club or player who votes against a restart citing health concerns. It’s now time that we really debated this and support our team who want to earn their place on the pitch and football merit. Those who abuse the rules for personal reasons to gain an advantage should be kicked out of the league as any player or other sporting competitor would be. I personally understand why the likes of Wycombe, Coventry and Rotherham would want to end the season but they have to be true to their word.

If club’s who cannot play the rest of the season due to financial concerns and no help is forthcoming then they should be treated like Bury or docked points like Bolton if they enter administration. I love football and want to assist all clubs in this crisis but if clubs like ours are going to be denied an opportunity to compete fairly because votes are going to be manipulated by club’s who are set to benefit from this crisis then it is wrong on every level.

No football fan wants to see their team cheat promotion or relegation. If you want to play for your place in the league then do so, if clubs want to forfeit because it will be cheaper for them to get paid by the government then fine that is an option for all businesses to take (tho I personally disagree with this I have to remain fair).

Business up and down the country are going bust and football should be no different. The rules of sporting competition needs to remain in tact for football to recover. It’s my opinion that all players contracts should be extended to the end of the season and next season should be delayed to give it more time for clubs to make it safe for fan’s.

I’d like to hear other opinions on this.

Johnny McVittie

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Johnny, hope you’re safe and well. I think this is an enormously difficult time for English football, and I can understand some teams arguing that the season should be ended - whether that be due to health concerns or financial concerns.

Recently, Damian Collins told Sky that:

In the next few weeks, we could see five to 10 EFL League clubs going into administration.

We saw the outcry last summer when two clubs, Bury and Bolton, were in trouble. If that happens there will be huge public demand to do something.

Without the government stepping in, those clubs could go to the wall and there maybe others that follow.

Forcing teams to bring back their players, who they will then need to pay, could effectively kill a host of teams who rely on matchday revenues as their prime source of income.

If English football, or the Government, could help find a way to finish the season and secure teams’ finances, then I’m all for it, but to force clubs to compete while putting them at risk of financial ruin... that doesn’t sit too well with me, personally.

I think football clubs are not simply businesses; in fact, that is a mistake made by many businessmen entering into the world of football ownership. Instead, football clubs are local institutes that go far beyond being a business. As such, we should do everything we can to preserve them and enhance their ability to succeed.

If there is one silver lining for the world of football in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic, perhaps it will be some kind of reform aimed at helping clubs be more sustainable moving forward.

AFC Wimbledon v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Hi hope everyone is well.

When or if we get new owners for the club it needs a different approach. After reading the article about Parkinson, he has not been a success in my eyes. I know Mr Donald said he was the best candidate for the job, but he went for the safe option and it has failed - hence 7th not acceptable.

Jack Ross was sacked and the same old names were mentioned on the managerial merry go round - they just go from job to job your Holloways, Rowetts etc.

I think it has to be Philips and Clough, let’s go for it. The football and the style of play can be no worse that what we have endured for three seasons. Kevin is a legend and always will be, and alongside Clough they could be the dream partnership we have been looking for to take this club forward.

We need people who will put their heart and soul into the the club and I think they will. To succeed of course they need the backing and the money. If this partnership came together and clicked, the potential to take this club to new heights is vast because I can guarantee the stadium would be sold out week in and week out.

The club has to try to get the fans back onside because League One football is a cert next season - let’s hope and dream Kev gets the job and brings Clough along as well.

Everyone take care!

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Mark, thanks for writing in, we’re all plodding along over here - I hope you’re well, too! It’s an interesting idea you have there, and it’s one that I think would excite many fans. Ultimately, if you look back at the managers that have found success with Sunderland they have been big personalities with a cracking second in command. Could Clough and Phillips fit that bill? Perhaps. Either way, this summer will be another tough rebuild due to the pandemic coupled with the high number of players out of contract. I suppose you could make the argument that now is as good a time as any to install a managerial team trusted to take the club forward. Stay safe!

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