clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fan Letters: Sunderland fans share concerns over the owners and the future of our club

Passionate Sunderland fans & RR readers Paul, David and Mark have all written in to share their concerns over the way the club is being run. Got something to say?!

Sunderland v Bolton Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Yesterday with a very heavy heart I did what I thought I would never find myself doing and cancelled my season card. Whilst doing so saddened me greatly the whole attitude and tone of the club`s recent press releases regarding season cards saddened me more and was what made me do it.

I was truly astounded by what the club had decided was to happen in the event of any games being played without fans. The blunt matter of fact answers given in the Q and As update just added fuel to the flames.

We have all heard a million times these are unprecedented times and of course the club have no option to abide by any government guidelines when it comes to how football progresses from here.

What they do have options on though is how they treat their paying public,just like all other businesses do. With this in mind do the hierarchy really believe that what they have proposed is acceptable?

In the event of no fans being allowed in stadiums (which would not be the fault of the club) we will get a streaming pass rather than the full match experience.

I`m lead to believe a streaming pass is usually sold for around £100 per season and covers all games home and away equating to less than £2.20 per game.

Season card at £380 equates to around £16.50 per game nearly eight times as much with some areas of the ground costing more than that. No consideration given to the fans in this arrangement whatsoever which is disappointing to say the least.

It`s like being told by a shop assistant at Tesco(other supermarkets are also available) that the case of Budweiser(other brands of lager are also available) on the shelf might only have water in it and if that turns out to be the case then tough you`re not getting your money back.

If that were to happen you would start shopping elsewhere but therein lies the problem for football supporters they only have one club and therefore only one place to shop.

Surely it must be time for the Government to look at introducing more stringent consumer rights for football supporters given we are in a uniquely unfavourable position when it comes to dealings with our clubs.

The vast majority of supporters are fans of one club only and this makes them a captive audience and clubs know this and exploit it.

All apsects of charging by football clubs should be examined by the Monopolies Commission as this relationship so heavily favours clubs that supporters are at the mercy of what the club decides to do.

Admittedly we can all say no but when we live and breathe for SAFC it takes a lot to do that.

I am sure there will be many reading this who say the club needs us to back it right now and they may well be right but if this is the case then now is not the time for them to be throwing their weight around and treating us with such contempt.

There are numerous other ways they could have dealt with this such as pro rata refunds for any games affected,vouchers or even credit given against future tickets but they chose to take a like it or lump it approach and in doing so revealed their true opinion of us.

There has been so much unrest and disconnection between the fans and club in my time as a supporter that I was glad to have the relative peace of last season.

I was even prepared to give SD the benefit of the doubt even for the failings of this one but now it is clear to me we need fresh leadership as we are indeed heading for dark times otherwise.

Paul Kinleyside

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Cheers for writing in Paul, I totally feel your frustrations. I’ve also cancelled my season card and even after yesterday’s revisal from Jim Rodwell, I’m sceptical and more than likely won’t be reinstating my card until we know what is going on with next season.

They’re due to announce details so people can reenable their cards over the coming days, and I’ll be monitoring that information carefully.

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

Dear Roker Report,

I aint got a gripe with anyone who doesn’t renew there season ticket as there are good reasons not to and everyones situation is different. The big worry is if not enough renew there won’t be a club to come back to.

What with paying refunds back off last season and then having to pay wages and bills if we start behind closed doors, added to the dire financial plight we re already in, I can see sunderland been the first really big club to go to the wall...... HOPE TO GOD IM WRONG.

David Wilkinson

Ed’s Note [Gav]: The club’s owners owe Sunderland AFC £20m - the onus is on them to stabilise this club by paying us that money back, not on the fans.

We’ve been taken for granted far too long.

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

Dear Roker Report,

Every season we start on the back foot will we ever learn. Again the owners have left a big black cloud of uncertainty over the club. A year a go you could not get Donald off podcasts or radio shows now you can not get a peep out of him.

The worse thing you need when you are trying to sell a business is uncertainty and at the club we have it in abundance.

There is no plan in place for recruitment silence on the finances going forward it’s just heartbreaking bad management all round.

The price Donald wants for the club is not realistic for a league one club I think he only invested 5million in the club and wants nearer 35 million that’s pure greed.

The management l have seen in the last few months has been farcical and he says he wants to remain on the board what planet is he on. Mr Donald said he would leave the club in a better place that’s total bullshit it is now in a worse position.

Obviously Covid has not helped the financial situation of the club.My hope is when you look at Bournemouth and Sheffield United the pain and the anguish they have been through the last ten years it gives you hope for the future.

We need new owners with a plan to push the club to better times through investment in youth and the structures used in Holland and Germany. I regret this season I cannot see 26 thousand season tickets being sold, fans what to see and hear a plan to take the club forward being announced but all we get is silence.

The fans just want to know the truth about is there any interest in the club and the price he wants for the club. For this club to move on it’s a must we need new owners.

The Donald era has ran its course he has lost the fans and to me that is the last throw of the dice for him.

Mr Donald sell for a realistic price and let the club move on - sick of hearing we have the biggest budget in the league means nothing on the pitch is where it matters so go now rather than later.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Hi Mark - cheers for getting in touch. I feel your pain, marra. We can all agree that this entire sorry episode has grown tiresome very quickly, and that we all - the fans, the club and the current owners - really need to move on to ensure Sunderland AFC doesn’t continue to plummet further than where we find ourselves currently.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report