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Sunderland v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light

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Fan Letters: ‘There is NO money for players as long as we’re in this division’

Sam wants KLD to support Lee Johnson by opening the chequebook, while AndoverMackem’s in positive spirits ahead of Saturday’s clash.

Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

One thing has become clear, there is NO money for players as long as we’re in this division. We are then told that once we go up, which with this current policy of “no investment in players” could be years, there will be £20 Million to invest on players once we are in the Championship.

Well, maybe I’m stupid but don’t we get that and more, by increased revenue, by just being in the Championship, so that is hardly investment. This new owner came in with it being widely broadcast that he was worth £2 billion, that’s two thousand million pounds. To put it in perspective 1% of that is £20 Million. Pocket money to a man of his worth.

This policy of relying on youth and free players from the lower leagues, to get us promoted is a smokescreen for not investing.

Are we really better off than we were a year ago? I say not. We still have SD/CM involved in the background and Sartori doing God knows what (remember he was bought in to bring young talent from S America).

Our owner can have £100 Trillion, so what, if he doesn’t invest any of it. We need a few million now not in the distant future or when our owners mother decides to loosen the purse strings. Bring in a couple of decent Championship players to sort out this defence and we’d be halfway there. Please please don’t throw me the excuse that we are governed in what we can spend, this just deflects from the lack of any investment and I’m sure suits our new owner.

By the way, I’m not for sacking the manager, just asking that he is supported by some immediate investment.

Sam Lucas

Ed’s Note [Martin]: This time last season we had an ageing squad of career League One players, no plan, no recruitment staff, Phil Parkinson as manager and Stewart Donald as owner. As far as I’m concerned we’ve improved significantly from that position – regardless of the past three league results.

If there’s one thing we learnt from our years in the Premier League it’s that money doesn’t automatically guarantee success, and when KLD came in he talked about building a sustainable football club that has the academy at the centre of it, and we’ve seen the groundwork laid in that respect.

In terms of investment, a declared transfer fee is only one part of a transfer cost. Cirkin cost money (undisclosed fee), the loans of Doyle, Broadhead, Alves, Hoffmann and Dajaku cost us money, Evans and Pritchard will have been paid decent signing on fees – it’s not just about the reported transfer fee. If we’d signed CIrkin or Huggins from Championship or League one clubs they’d have cost a lot of money. Spurs and Leeds accepted a cut of future transfer fees as they don’t need the cash immediately.

I hope we will see decent investment in January – the team evidently needs it – but whether we splash out big transfer fees as part of that is pretty irrelevant in the grand scheme of things – I’d rather we concentrated on recruiting smartly and bought players who will develop both in terms of talent and value.

Sunderland v Bradford City - EFL Trophy
Bringing in Broadhead on loan will have cost money
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Enjoyed the piece on the impact of the international break. Can’t speak for anyone else but I am feeling refreshed. We are capable of beating Ipswich and back in front of a home crowd I believe we will win, even if others don’t. Keep the faith.


Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for the email AndoverMackem – hopefully we’ll pull it round on Saturday. I suspect the break will have done everyone the world of good. I just hope for everyone’s sake we turn up, put in a good display and get the three points.

Sunderland v Bradford City - EFL Trophy
Will the break have done everyone good?
Photo by Will Matthews/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Following on from your ‘Embarrassing on and off the pitch’ podcast, I attended the Sheffield match with a little trepidation. I’ve followed Sunderland for 44 years, since I was 8 years old and although I have a season card, I don’t go to many away games now and the thought of being in amongst pissed up, coked up ‘wanna be/has been’ hooligans gave me more than a slight face/palm self reflection moment.

Due to ticket confusion at Sheffield, my tickets were not at the away end and after queueing for bloody ages at their ticket office, got them sorted. Unfortunately the game was 10 minutes in by the time we walked through the turnstiles only to hear the cheers from the home fans. Fook!

We got to our seats in the lower concourse and straight away a feeling of dread hit me as a group of 20 to 60 year olds just behind us were already in full flow….Hoffman, O’Nien, Doyle, Flanagan, O’Brien, Johnson were all f’ing shit, c u next Tuesdays, were told to ‘get out of our fucking club’, told to fuck off etc. You get the picture. What an absolute bunch of moronic individuals and if this is what it means to support (ha) your football club, then I think I’ll leave it thanks (at least the away matches anyway).

Was this not going to be the season where our League One journey was going to change in terms of supporting young talent, being patient, having the players backs when the going wasn’t smooth?

Personally, for the most part this season I’ve enjoyed watching our style of play and I believe how we started the season had most of us believing that the change of approach to giving young emerging players, sprinkled with some experience, was the correct approach for the Club. Now we’ve had 3 defeats on the spin and yes I do understand the misery of not only seeing us beaten, but generally getting well and truly humped, but to lose the plot completely with players and the manager alike beggars belief.

Any chance we can get some balance as supporters? Any chance we can show some, you know, support? You can see that the talent is there but that for whatever reason beyond my extremely amateurish football playing/coaching/managing experience it’s just not gelling at the minute (and anyone who thinks it’s easy is obviously a Footy Manager 2005 wannabe).

I’ve still got faith that we’ll turn this around and we’ll have a half decent end to 2021. I believe that we’ll improve the squad in the transfer window, particularly in the areas we can all see need it……some more bite, strength and height? I’ll leave it to the experts. Call me a happy clapper if you like (I think I’m probably 75/25), but where is the vitriol and constant negativity going to get us? Stick or carrot? What works best in the life term?

Here’s to a successful season and see you at the SOL. Away games from now on will be streamed until I hear that the arsehole brigade have done one.

Dad’s Fault

Ed’s Note [Martin]: It’s difficult in some respect to criticise anyone who turns up and supports the lads away from home on a Tuesday night, however it’d be far more beneficial for the team to be supported rather than criticised and abused, and far more pleasant for 99% of the supporters if these ‘fans’ stayed at home. I completely agree with you about the team – there’s tonnes of potential – three games doesn’t change that – and with 2-3 smart additions in January we’ll be up there.


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