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Fan Letters: “Do Sunderland fans really deserve this after what we have had to endure?”

Fury at the way fans are being treated by the club from Dave, and fury about how the EFL has treated League One from Anthony and Richard. Got something to say?!

Northampton Town v Cheltenham Town - Sky Bet League Two Play Off Semi-final 1st Leg Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It’s good to see that fans are going to be refunded on the games they are not going to see, but all that loyalty to the fans has been undone by wanting to rip them off with the streaming policy for next season. Do Sunderland fans really deserve this after what we have had to endure over the last few seasons??

Also, did the club refund the fans for the Bury home game, which season ticket holders would have paid for in advance??

Dave (disappointed, but forever red, white and hopeful)

Ed’s Note [Rich]: On the Bury game, the club saw it fit to give season ticket holders a free ticket to the home game against Leicester’s kids in the Car Hire Trophy to compensate them for the loss of a regular League One fixture, just one more example of the contempt those in charge of the club seem to hold us in.

No, we don’t deserve the way we’ve been treated as a fanbase for many, many years. It’s time to make sure that the fans always come first, and don’t get fobbed off and patronised by a taken for granted for a moment longer either by this bunch of non-Leaguers or whoever they can get to take the club off their hands. We need a Supporters’ Trust with real power and a share in the club, and we need it now.

Dear Roker Report,

I know that we should let it rest, but I am very annoyed how the EFL went about it delaying a decision from one week to another, so, by the time it came to the vote, there was no time to finish the season; and I really do feel sorry for the Posh and Tranmere Rovers.

Anyway I read an article in the Peterborough Herald that the Posh put a suggestion to the EFL weeks ago to freeze the positions and points and carryover to next season, but it was rejected.

So there you go that’s my rant for now.

Stay safe.

Anthony Degiovanni

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hi again Anthony, cheers for your letter and hope you’re staying safe too. It’s good to have a rant now and again, especially at the minute.

When the 2019-20 season was originally suspended back in March, a complete freezing of the season until it was safe to resume football as normal with paying punters coming through the doors, was definitely my preferred option. It seemed to be the fairest way of deciding promotions and relegation. Two intractable issues probably got in the way of this idea - player contracts, and clubs in the Championship and Premier League being financially capable of completing their seasons.

For the Posh’s plan to come off, it would have required, firstly, a cross-club agreement with the players’ union, the PFA, to automatically extend all contracts until the season was able to be finished; and secondly, because teams move between divisions through promotion and relegation, it would have needed Championship and Premier League teams to agree to delay the start of season 2020-21 until the League 1 had been played out.

In the end, clubs put their collective future viability ahead of concerns about the clearly unfair system of average points per game.

Dear Roker Report,

Blame EFL for this disaster to the end of the season, EFL should have took control about 2 months ago, and they decide on how to restart or finish the leagues, clubs who voted only had the best interest in themselves making the voting process a waste of time, how Wycombe don’t want to start the season but wants to play in playoffs????? Doesn’t make sense! What about next season no idea on when or how it will start, clubs says can’t offend or play behind closed doors so how can next season be played?

Richard Southam

Ed’s Note [Rich]: You’re absolutely right when you say that the EFL are largely to blame for the state that we find ourselves in. They could have acted a lot faster, put together a financial package, a deal with the PFA on contracts and a fair deal for all fans that would have allowed the season to be played out behind closed doors, streamed for free and on free-to-view TV. But no, they dithered and the crisis overwhelmed them.

For too long the EFL, the FA, and the Government, who set the legal, financial, governance and ownership rules for the game, have turned a blind-eye to the complete financial mess that exists in football outside the Premier League, and have allowed takeovers by unsuitable people to run our clubs into the ground.

On the matter of Wycombe, it’s true to say that their vote was an act of pure self-interest, but not only in terms of their promotion prospects but also protecting their very existence (and by extension, the existence of other clubs in the league). For them, it was the difference was between the cost of playing a possible 13 games behind closed doors or a possible 2 or 3 in the play offs (which bring in TV money). That’s a lot more money to spend on wages and testing with no revenue in return.

I do agree that the voting process was ridiculous, as in the end there was only one option left. And I completely share your concerns about the viability of next season as long as things remain as they are. If we want football to come back once this virus is finally properly under control, an awful lot is going to have to change.

Coronavirus - Sun May 3, 2020 Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

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