Dear Roker Report,
Re: the Tom English and Jeff Ledger letters.
If NUFC sells at £350million or so, why has Sunderland never been thought of worth investing in (or buying should I say) by people with big money? Our stadium and Academy are much better than Sheffield United, Wolves, Watford, and Leicester City. What is the value of the SOL and the Academy? What would it cost to build them now? New owners do not need to build these assets.
It would, or should, be a great opportunity to people wanting to buy a club and have it well run. It is strange why Ellis Short sold Sunderland to a man who could not afford to invest in and run the club. Ellis Short had money and was really a nice bloke, but employed some poor people that has led to a legacy of mismanagement. Spending other people’s money was too easy and the only person who was left to sort the money mess out was Stewart Donald - the Jack Rodwells, Kones, Ndongs and all of the rest of it.
Mr Short did not understand football like many of us do. So he just wanted to get shot of it after the prem days ended. We can all see the pressure that the owners are under -everything is intense at SAFC and NUFC. Many of our supporters want the owners to be accountable, and many supporters want to vent and tell them to get out of our club and don’t say anything back to us, no explanations, nothing just go. Sunderland AFC and our supporters make it either amazing like on the day 46,000 attended a league one match or when things go wrong and the crowd turns against you.
I was one of those who wanted Parkinson out, I was convinced he did not know what he was doing, but then suddenly he was not the fool we thought he was. I know one thing! If we make Stewart Donald's life a misery then why will he care a jot who he sells Sunderland to. Looking back lots of fans wanted Ellis Short out after he spent all those millions so why the heck should he care who buys the club. So that’s why we have Stewart Donald isn’t it. All football fans have little say in who owns your club. Newcastle supporters think they are a massive club, soon they may be, but we are just at the mercy of whoever wants to buy our club.
I am also 68 years old and have supported since junior school days.
Editor’s Note [Tom]: Hi Norman, I think both owners have their shortfalls. Short had the money, but didn’t have the insight and hired the wrong people - like you noted. Donald and co. don’t have the money, but seem to have a better understanding of the minutia needed to run a club. Ultimately, though, neither of them have brought success. Fans have every right to be upset, from Short pulling the plug financially to Donald and co. promising so much yet delivering so little. Sunderland needs owners who understand the need for a long term vision - owners who won’t throw money into the abyss or hype fans up before failing to deliver. Our fans have been stung by the last two regimes, it will take some time and tangible results for us to appreciate new owners if/when they arrive. Thanks for writing in, hope you’re safe and well.
Dear Roker Report,
When I was younger, and being a fan of football but not really supporting a team, I would always keep an eye on on teams that family members supported.
Then came the 1998 playoff final. After just being dumped by my then girlfriend, I went to my sister and brother-in-law’s to watch the playoff final - my brother-in-law being Sunderland mad. 120 minutes and penalties later I’d had never been more devastated, it was worse than being being dumped - that is how bad I felt after that match.
Then came the new season - the first home game and I was there, my first time to the northeast, the smell of the grass, the atmosphere the music, even before the ball was kicked I was hooked. I have made the trip up the A1 countless time to watch Sunderland win lose or draw, but one thing that never wains is my love for this club - it runs deep to the bone, I moan I groan but like all relationships you have to take the tough with the smooth.
People ask me why Sunderland, my answer is simple: why would I want to support anyone else? The lows might be hell, but the highs are nothing any club anywhere has, we are Sunderland we love our Club. The current owners need to show us they feel the same and prove it. Every fan who puts on that red and white shirt and attends the games loves this club, all we want is for them to be honest communicate, to try their hardest to get the club succeeding - if they do we will love them for it’s that simple. If they manage to do that they will then feel what any Sunderland fan feels - you see, it becomes a part of you and gets under your skin and you never want it to end.
SAFC till I die,
Editor’s Note [Tom]: Hi Gareth, thanks for writing in. I’m always surprised by how many fans fall in love with a club like Sunderland; like you say, people seem to be drawn to the passion and emotion of the fans. The thing I find with Mackems everywhere is that we appreciate honest people who do the right thing, and if you abuse our trust it’s almost impossible to gain it back. The situation with the current ownership resonates with that statement, too. I hope your safe and well - thanks for falling in love with Sunderland!
Dear Roker Report,
Hi, hope everyone is well.
Lies and more lies reading the press today - a potential viable owner is interested in Sunderland, so what does Mr Donald do? Ignore it. The man says he is actively seeking a buyer for the club, we have interest in the club approached by a Saudi consortium and he does not have the decency to reply. The man is delusional. he is not wanted at this club, and basically he has lost the plot - his comments, which are rare these days, are bizarre.
The fans backed you Stewart, for two seasons, but you failed. If you have any decency left sell and please listen to offers for the club. The fans do not deserve this treatment Stewart - lies and silence, you have out stayed your welcome. If you are a man of your word leave the club in a better place than when you found it, those were your words.
Ashley down the road is detested by the fans but at least they will be left in a better place when he goes. You’re a businessmen so get a deal done and at least you can walk away with some credit because I tell you your tenure has been the worst in the club’s history. The silence and lies are nauseating - we are all sick and tired of it.
Editor’s Note [Tom]: Hi Mark, thanks for writing in. I think a lot of fans will agree with your sentiments here, but I do want to give a word of warning. Fans now need to be very wary of any potential new owners, for we have been stung by the last two regimes. As such, I would prefer that we took our time with the sale and didn’t force through a deal that would put the club into the hands of people whose intentions might not be particularly positive. Wigan’s situation right now should act as a a real warning sign for us. You’re right in noting that Donald did say he’d leave the club in a better position than where he’d found it - selling to a conscientious, legitimate group would be his best course of action.