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Fan Letters: Reaction to the vote to decide League One on Average Points Per Game

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RR reader Paul Eden calls for Sunderland fans to boycott all the away grounds next season of the clubs who voted for this decision, while fellow fan Mark Wild argues, “that’s life I am afraid”. Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk!

Lincoln City v Burton Albion - Sky Bet League One Photo by Chris Vaughan - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

So it’s finally been decided, the EFL have bottled it and let the clubs vote.

The decision was never going to please everyone, but the thing that doesn’t sit right with me is the fact that clubs voted, not for the fair or right decision to carry on the season like the clubs in the leagues above, no they took the decision to look after themselves.

It was all about saving money and costs, and teams like Wycombe have benefited massively whilst Tranmere have been dealt a crushing blow. This was not about football or form, it was money. If the virus had hit 4 games earlier, it would have been different again.

Another example of football having no soul and purely being about money.

Therefore, if it’s all about money for these clubs that voted for this outcome, let’s play them at their own game. They must have loved the fact that the cash cow for them that is Sunderland will remain in League 1 next season.

Therefore I call on Roker Report to publish the list on which way clubs voted and then for all Sunderland fans to boycott all the away grounds next season who voted for this.

If it’s all about money for them then let’s hit them where it hurts, in the pocket.

Hopefully we will get out of this dreadful division next season

Paul Eden

Ed’s Note [Rich]: You’re right, Paul, football is all about the money. I, like, you and many other fans out there, am feeling frustrated at not being able to watch Sunderland play out the rest of the season on the pitch and push for the promotion we still thought the team could achieve. And, with the decision to end the season on average points per game, a number of EFL clubs have gained a lot from from the Covid-19 crisis, a crisis that wasn’t properly planned for here by the government or the football authorities, and has had devastating consequences for people across the world.

But football is still fundamentally a game which involves different teams coming together to agree to play competitions - and how to decide them. We might feel hard done by - and I’m sure Tranmere fans are having a hard time accepting the decision too - but I believe it has been taken to ensure the survival of the whole of English football at this level. All of the clubs were voting in their own interest, and the majority saw in their enlightened self interest to cut their losses and end the season before the season ended them. There are very many industries that are having to find radical ways to survive one of the greatest, medical, economic and social crisis of modern times and football is one of them.

We here at Roker Report know no more than has been said publicly by the clubs involved and the EFL about who voted which way. I mainly go to away games, and whilst the prospect of travelling hundreds of miles to watch mediocre football for a third season in a row isn’t what I or anyone else wants, these clubs mean as much to their fans as ours does to us, and I for one won’t be boycotting them as punishment for wanting to survive.

Doncaster Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One
Should we boycott away games against teams who voted to end League 1 on Average Points Per Game?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Hi hope you are well.

Here we go again, another clueless Rodwell with these comments. At the end of the day we should have been higher than 7th, but in reality deserve to be where we are in the league. I could say we would have won every game remaining averaged five goals a game.

The cold hard truth, Mr Rodwell, is we were not good enough.

For one, the signings have been dreadful. Two, we made the wrong management appointment but we are lumbered with him for two and half years. Although I don’t agree with the way the league has been settled, that’s life I am afraid.

We are now stuck with a manager we cannot probably afford to sack and the ownership saga again dragging on, probably ruining transfer business and contract talks. The inept owners have probably lost us a reasonable transfer fee for McLaughlin - a very good keeper - by not offering him a new contract earlier.

Donald and Co have ruined and decimated the academy hopefully the only way is up but what we do not need is another preseason of uncertainty Mr Donald go and now we have all had enough of the bullshit.

Everyone take care and he’s to a bright future for this once great club, could it get any worse.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Rich]: We’re all okay, Mark, and I hope you are keeping well too. I absolutely agree; for me, Sunderland deserve to play in League 1 next season because (very simply and I think, ultimately, reasonably fairly) on average, we have collected less points over the games we’ve played in 2019-20 than the other clubs in League 1. It certainly doesn’t do us any favours, but we’re not a special case.

We all, like you, want to see the team retain it’s best players and add quality and strength to the squad, and I too worry that the uncertainty about the ownership of the club, and the weakness of our recruitment under Donald, will result us being beaten to the best of the talent that will be on offer over the summer.

Nobody knows when, how and in what form the EFL will take when this horrid virus is beaten and football eventually returns, but at this point we, as a fanbase, should do everything possible to ensure that we have a club to support when it does.

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One
We’re all gutted, but we’ll get another chance one day.
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images