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Fan Letters: “I back Stewart Donald 100%”

Sunderland fan Norma Tate feels sorry for the club’s owner, whilst Angela Dalzell wants the club to say when fans might return to a socially distanced Stadium of Light. Got something to say?!

Sunderland v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I back Stewart Donald 100%

I been a Sunderland fan for 35 years, I feel ashamed to be a fan at the moment; all I have read the last few months is him out. I feel sorry for the guy as well, as all the managers - yeah ok, David Moyes, I understand - but Jack Ross and Phil Parkinson been here October last year not given a chance.

Now u doing the same to Stewart. If Stewart reading this please stay I back him 100%.

Norma Tate

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letter Norma. I know that you and everyone reading this, even Stewart Donald, wants to see Sunderland become the successful club all we know it can be, but I wish I could share your faith in him as the man to take us forward.

We here at Roker Report have only ever looked at what Donald has said and tried to hold him to account for his actions. As writers and podcasters have made our judgements based on the evidence we see in front of our eyes, both on the pitch, in the academy, how the club has handled communication with the fans and behind the scenes in terms of the business of the club. We try our best to tell our readers and listeners the truth as we see it as honestly as we can.

My judgement is that it is simply not good enough, and that the best way forward is for the club to seek alternative ownership and for the fans to take a stake in the club through a Supporter’s Trust.

Dear Roker Report,

We need to know what is going on - never known our club so quiet.

To keeping supporters in the dark is the worse mistake to do. It’s our club and if they want our support maybe if they come clean with what is happening then we can do our best to support our club!

I’ve heard more from Kevin Phillips and Peter Reid than our board and chairman.

Football is coming back with or without a crowd, obviously when it’s safe to do so. Our Stadium holds 46-48,000 fans; we could social distance, even taking out turn styles and having stewards checking instead.

Look at the support when they changed the seats! Work with the supporters and we will help, but this silence?

And Echo speculation is doing us no good!

Angela Dalzell (Supporter for 50 years)

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for writing, Angela. You’re spot on when you say that supporters will do anything to get back to the Stadium of Light. And perhaps the best way for all football fans to help in this is to continue to play our part in beating the Coronavirus, as the better we do that the sooner we will all be together again.

Sunderland football club under the stewardship of Jim Rodwell have been almost silent on their position on the start of the 2020-21 season. They seem to have developed a liking for prepared statements and internal interviews rather than submitting themselves to any detailed questioning from the independent media. They have engaged with fans in recent days through private meetings with Red & White Army and the Branch Liaison Committee, but there’s no sign of properly minuted structured dialogue meetings any time soon.

Newspapers, blogs and podcasts will naturally speculate about the future when nothing is being said publicly. Nature hates a vacuum, and at the minute there’s huge questions to be answered by those in charge of football about the viability of football under effective social distancing. It’s being trialled in Denmark, and I expect the result of that will have a big impact on any plans to restart the game in Leagues 1 and 2.

A ball boy is seated in front of a stand with Brondby football fans observing social distancing while attending a match against FC Copenhagen at Brondby stadium, Denmark on June 21, 2020
Photo by THIBAULT SAVARY/AFP via Getty Images

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