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Fan Letters: Stewart Donald & Fan Group meeting reaction - some Sunderland fans aren’t happy!

In today’s Fan Letters, all three of our readers are upset with Stewart Donald’s handling of the recent Fan Group meeting. Have you got something you want to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk!

Sky Sports

Dear Roker Report,

The recent meeting between RAWA, Stewart Donald and co. just shows how petty and delusional our owner really is. While reading what he had to say left more than a sour taste in a lot of our mouths.

The main take away was the constant dig at fans from Donald, blaming us for his failings. If i recall it wasn’t us who signed Parkinson, Grigg, Jack Ross, Tony Coton etc. it was him. But what was us, was the 46,000 that packed that stadium out for him. So for Mr. Donald to come and blame the fans is an absolute disgrace.

Moving on, the bitterness and child-like remarks to Chris Wetherspoon is a disgrace. For that alone he should hang his head in shame. While him and Chris will never see eye-to-eye, not once has Chris ever been rude or abusive to Donald. He’s a normal fan who cares more about Sunderland than Donald ever will. The fact is Chris has an idea of what he’s on about when it comes to fiance and Donald knows that and can’t handle someone calling his bluffs at every given chance (rightly so as well). If Donald has any respect/dignity he would apologise to Chris and leave it at that. No need to say anything else. His comments were out of line for someone who wasn’t there to defend himself, say sorry and that’s it. But will he? I have more faith in Juan finally stepping up and seeing more of him around the club.

Thirdly, Tom Sloanes needs to have a look at where he stands. While I hear he’s done great things for the club in recent years, he is currently part of the regime that is killing the club. For a Sunderland fan to come out and blame the fans for the failings of the club and the reason nobody should buy it is again a disgrace. I have nothing against Tom personally and from what I hear, I believe he is too nice to challenge Donald on these issues. Especially, as a Sunderland fan in these times I really think he needs to buck his ideas up because he will continue to receive criticism.

On a side note, Rodwell said we couldn’t start the season with no fans or funding - that alone is a worrying statement, which got brushed over in everyone's anger due to criticism of the fans.

To finish, I hope Donald tries to push through a sale of the club to Micky Gray or RAWA if they become a trust quick enough. Either way I think Kieron Brady must be apart of the club in some form due his knowledge of the club itself and football as a whole. He will be a key asset especially if RAWA do make a push. Hopefully someone from Roker Report seeing this could make contact with Kieron and see if he would be interested in getting involved, obviously with RAWA’s permission. If RAWA do want to buy the club I think a figurehead would look and have a better feel and there’s not many better than Kieron, I believe personally.

There’s more to be said about that shambolic interview, however it’s all been said before by others. Hopefully, Mr Donald does drop his asking price from £37 million, but I think his greed will get the best of him and he won’t want to lower that any time soon.

Alan Smith

Ed’s Note [Tom]: A lot to talk about here, Alan; thanks for writing in. Donald’s comments during the recent fan discussion were absolutely dreadful. Abuse should never be tolerated, and any fans who did abuse Donald or other members of staff need to have a serious word with themselves. Criticism, though, is fair, so to unilaterally blame fans for Sunderland’s shortcomings was absolutely shocking considering our criticisms have been justified. The sacking of staff members and his subsequent resignation has also raised a host of questions now, too. I think the best bet is for Donald to sell to a local consortium for a fair price - at least then we would know the group in control understand the club, the fans, and how important this club truly is.

Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

If anyone doubted that SD is a liar and doesn’t give a **** about the club then this recent fiasco should leave them in no doubt.

How dare he treat our fans and club with such contempt. From the minute he came on the scene in May 2018, claiming he was the spokesperson for an “ international consortium” the lies have flowed. Little did we know it was the first in a long stream of lies and contradictions. Chris Weatherspoon did a great job in setting out all of these in date order, no wonder SD singled him out to be shut up. Within days of using our parachute money to pay off ES, he tried to sell the club, barely a year after he bought it, but his greed queered that pitch. This was the beginning of the fans asking questions and the National press highlighting the scam SD was trying to pull off. Months later he blamed the fans for selling the club. Today he’s blaming them for not being able to sell the club. It’s tragic, the way he’s used our club, with only one agenda—money.

Sam Lucas

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Sam, thanks for writing in. What hurts the most for me is that I genuinely think the majority of fans have tried to give the owners a fair chance at bringing success to the club. Even when people/outlets were starting to understand something was wrong, fans still wanted to give the owners the benefit of the doubt. Of course, the further the lies went, the more people understood that those initially sounding the alarm were indeed correct, and I think we owe those highlighting these issues deserve a lot of credit. Fans simply aren’t to blame here, poor decisions by the club and those who own it are.

Dear Roker Report,

Hi, hope everyone is well. Blaming the fans is the easy way out Stewart. I agree that abuse aimed at his family is totally unacceptable, but the fans have backed the new regime for 2 years, home and away. We did our part Stewart you are the one that failed, mate. Mr. Donald they were your decisions to appoint the managers and backroom staff not the fans’, so be a man, put your hands up, and admit it they were the wrong decisions.

The Will Grigg saga on Netflix is a prime example of how your decision, not anyone else’s, to pay a ridiculous fee for a player who did not even want to come to the club, was the wrong one. For Donald to say that he was in it for the fun of it... do not insult the intelligence of the fans mate, and to say he’s not bothered about making a profit, you are taking the piss out of the fans big style. From day one, Stewart, you said you would be honest and open with the fans, but when the fun stopped, down to your regime’s decisions and bad management, lo and behold: silence.

The advice I give you Stewart is phone Mike Ashley - the criticism that man has taken at Newcastle is second to none. That has not been fun for him, but Stewart he is a real businessman, he stabilized their club regardless of the fans’ dissent. Stewart, when you run a club with passionate fans that even changed the stadiums seats for you for free, how can you make the fans accountable for the position it is in now? When you fail criticism is going to come your way, good businessmen take it and correct bad decisions - not blame people who had no control over them.

Take the hit mate, your decisions and your decisions only have left the club languishing in League One. Asking 37.5 million for Sunderland AFC - do not insult me and other fans’ intelligence. If you must then do it your way, use some of Sartori’s millions to invest in the club - but you won’t. Stewart, just admit to your mistakes, lower the price, and move on. Being too open has totally backfired on you, and now you have bitten the hand that feeds you - you said when you have outstayed your welcome you would go, that time is now

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Tom]: Hi Mark, thanks for writing in. I think Stewart has irreparably damaged his relationship with the club’s key stakeholders: us. As such, there doesn’t seem to be any way back for him now, does there? The best thing for all parties would be if he sold the club at a fair price as the current one certainly seems to be overinflated. Hope you’re safe and well.

Charlton Athletic v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One Play-off - Final - Wembley Stadium Photo by Tim Goode/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As our season has ended, all be it in unforeseeable circumstances, the last campaign had to go down as a failure.

For the past 4/5 seasons, uncertainty around club ownership off the pitch and failure to adequately prepare for the season ahead on the pitch have cost us dear.

I’m not seeing much in the way if preparations happening, again all the talk has returned to the club being up for sale and speculation over take overs.

We need to take a leaf out of Charlton’s book and show some steely determination on the pitch and ignore off field antics.

We also need to prepare now for the season ahead, or prepare to fail again next season.

I really hope I’m wrong this time, but we are all now living in hope rather than expectation.

Haway the lads

Regards

Ken Tuck

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letter, Ken, and I hope you’re keeping safe and well. It’s a very good point that you’ve made about how Charlton soldiered on despite almost going out of business on more than one occasion in the last 12 months. They might even survive dropping back into League 1 next season too, and Lee Bowyer has to be given credit for his achievements. I too hope we can use the transfer window, which opens on July 27th and closes on 16th October, to rebuild our squad. The 2020-21 season should start some time in September, and with no takeover imminent, it would seem that Phil Parkinson will be in charge for our third attempt to get back to the Championship.

Hope is all we have, so let’s all try our best keep the faith.