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Fan Letters: Complaints about BBC Newcastle’s coverage, journalists & sacking Peter Reid

We’ve got a real mixed bag today: RR reader Peter thinks sacking Reidy back in 2002 was the wrong decision, whilst Sis & Colin aren’t happy about the media’s coverage of the club. Let us know your thoughts:!

Newcastle v Sunderland Reid Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have been a long distance Sunderland supporter for most of my 79 years. I used to travel up to Roker Park with the away fans on the overnight specials. Alas I can only see the team when they come down south.

I have yet to come to a game at SOL. I feel that the problems started when Peter Reid had his little spat with Bridges. Peter should have got rid of Bridges and I believe he had another disagreement with another player. The SAFC board should have kept Reid and backed him to build a super team. When I think of all the gifted players that were coming through the academy only to be sold, I was very disappointed.

I feel he could have built a team to match the top clubs in the Premiership - a team that any subsequent manager would be proud to work with.

Peter Brittenden

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Certainly with hindsight it seems clear that sacking Reid was definitely the wrong decision. He was replaced by an absolute joker in Howard Wilkinson who had us relegated, and I think that whilst Reidy was struggling, he would have either kept us up or brought us back up the year after (we failed in the play-off semis under Mic Mac in the Championship). The biggest black mark against Peter’s name, for me, is the way he fell out with key players and subsequently bombed them out of the club. Bridges, Johnston, Summerbee to name a few.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Everton v Sunderland - Goodison Park Photo by Joe Giddens - PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve been saying for years that journalists do not ask the right questions at interviews, as far back when Clinton had an affair and said ‘l did not have sexual relations with that woman (Monica Lewinsky) - not one of the two hundred reporters in attendance asked the obvious question: “well, Mr President... what were you doing with her?”.

Modern day journalists are bent on creating news rather than reporting the news, and this includes sports journalists. To me, when they meet the manager or owner it’s like an old pals get-together and we’ll have a drink afterwards - and l include podcasts with club staff.

The very obvious question to the manager had to be: “why did a player who made 3 assists and scored one goal in his last game, not start against Bristol Rovers if he wasn’t injured?”.

There was no excuse.


Ed’s Note [Gav]: I guess the excuse was that the game was against a bunch of kids, and Dobson had played fairly well versus Hull, but I do get what you’re saying and I do think that Scowen should have started. That’s on the manager, though - and I guess journalists need to pick their moments. They can’t push back on everything. If they’re going to go in on Parky, I doubt they’ll want to do it after a 1-1 draw in the first game of the season.

Sunderland v Bristol Rovers - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Good afternoon fellow supporters and Roker Report editors!

I’d like to put to you a different topic for discussion - radio coverage of our games. We are about to start yet another season when the only available radio coverage of our games is via a station that bears the name of our great rivals in whom many of us have no interest whatsoever. Honestly - this drives me crackers.

One afternoon I actually started counting the number of times some voice over shouted ‘BBC Radio Newcastle, radio for the North East’. During a match day coverage this indoctrination is repeated over 50 times. Does anyone else resent this? Why do we have to listen to this?

If we want to listen to the post match phone in we have to put up with alternate calls that have no interest for us at all. They are punctuated with reports about Newcastle basketball, rugby and other irrelevant sports, again of no interest to Sunderland fans. We want to hear about our club, not theirs! Worst of all is the ignominy of having our only coverage provided by a station that carries a rival club’s name.

The naming of local radio stations has no pattern and there is no reason why match day coverage of our games couldn’t be via Radio Sunderland. Failing that, why not Radio North East? Why not separate coverage on different wavelengths? There are several possibilities that would be far better for us than being relentlessly force fed Newcastle propaganda when all we want is coverage of our club. I wonder if Roker Report has a view on this?

All the best!

Colin - Hetton

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Whilst I appreciate you are very passionate about this issue, I can’t get myself as riled up about it as you are! I guess it would be nice if we had alternative coverage for fans to select from but I think it’s simply a case of pounds and pennies. The BBC are the only broadcasters prepared to pump money into what is a fairly pricey venture. The reason other local stations no longer provide match commentary is because it’s expensive to do so. It would be great if the club could provide some alternative, but at a time when they’re cutting costs all over I don’t see that happening any time soon.

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