Dear Roker Report,
Successive relegations, failed promotions and a breakdown in trust between owners and fans has led to ever increasing discontent at the Stadium of Light. Over the last few years the growing tension and discord in the stands has been palpable. The blame for this sorry state of affairs lies first with the ownership, second with the management and third with the underperforming players. Given this friction I wonder whether the planned limitations of fans attending games next season will actually play into our hands. Our patience has been tested to its limit and it is perfectly understandable for fans to have vocalised their frustration. The problem though is when such acrimony persists, creating a cycle of despair and self-fulfilling underachievement on the pitch.
Before ‘Lockdown’ Newcastle were on a miserable run of form, having lost five games, drawn four and won only once in the Premier League since 18th January. Since resuming the season, without fans present, Newcastle have picked up 8 points from a possible 12 and are in the top 6 of the form league. In these games Newcastle have played with abandon, scoring 10 goals in the process; some turn around having not scored a Premier League goal for seven weeks before beating Southampton in their last game before football was suspended.
For some teams like Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich, where fan expectations are comparatively low, players could really use the extra support from the stands right now. For others clubs like Newcastle and West Ham, it may just be that players are more able to thrive without the fear of having their every mistake scrutinised, allowing them to play with rare freedom.
We have seen how the ‘Roker Roar’ can propel us to victory when the dynamic between the club and its fans is at its best. But until such harmony is restored, beginning with a change of ownership, our exile from the Stadium of Light may perversely help our fragile team to flourish.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Whilst I understand completely what you’re saying, I think the plan for when League One resumes is for fans to be allowed back in to stadiums.
Sadly, clubs at this level simply cannot function without the cash boost that matchday revenue provides - Sunderland included. I fear that there mightn’t even be a league for us to play in if the lack of investment in third tier clubs continues beyond the next few months. More and more will struggle to cope with the financial burden.
For the sake of the game, fans need to be back in stadiums sooner rather than later.
Dear Roker Report,
Hello from a Sunderland fan in Norway.
Now is about time to put away negative issues and complaining. This does not benefit the club. You have to gather around the owners, players and the gaffer. Start with positive comments each one of you.
Continue with taking a look at the clubs: Union Berlin and St.Pauli. Those should be role models for all of you. If you can change your attitude towards Sunderland AFC I will join you at Stadium of Light next season. Remember; “If you throw away days of your life with negativity it will become a poor, poor life!”
Per Kåre Hovdal
Ed’s Note [Gav]: Sorry, but... no. You either highlight these problems, or you sit back and watch your football club burn before you. Misconstruing those who want the best for the football club as ‘negative’ is simply unfair, in my opinion.
Dear Roker Report,
What a shambles the club has become.
No players with any credentials coming into the club, any half decent players wanting away.
Gone are the days of greatness, the days of the Roker Roar.
When was the last time we had half a dozen internationals. Players in the club, the days of players such as Anderson, Hurley, Harvey, Bingham and McParland.
The fans will turn up if the owners showed any emotions about the club the supporters and the area. It’s easy to buy a club if you have the cash or syndicate but you need to invest on GOOD players who want to wear the red and white.
The team had four good wins pushing them into top five then bang - 4 losses; desperate.
Unless things shape up I won’t be making my six visits per year from Northern Ireland, but I was born in, Blaydon Co Durham - a Mackem through and through.
Ed’s Note [Gav]: I don’t blame you, John. Our support has been taken advantage of for almost as long as I can remember. We’re taken for granted. Perhaps once our loyalty is tested too far, they’ll listen. Thousands of fans refusing to renew season cards was a big step - we need positive change at this football club if we’re ever going to become successful again.