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Sunderland v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Letters: Reaction to Sartori’s board appointment – is it a strategic play?

The news of Juan Sartori’s appointment to the board provoked a mixed reaction – but one of our readers is excited by the news. Plus: why haven’t the kids been given a chance?

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Perhaps I am jumping the gun, and maybe in the wrong direction, but I really am excited by the news that Sartori has been invited into a much-strengthened board of SAFC.

I have spent quite a lot of time and thought wondering why Sartori disappeared from the SAFC scene a long time ago, despite him showing quite a lot of enthusiasm originally. My conclusion, or guess, is that he was not impressed with Donald, and that is understandable.

So why my delight at the news as reported in the Echo? Well if my memory is correct when the majority shareholders hold 75% of the shares in business they can force the minority shareholders to sell at a price that is judged to be reasonable.

So the move by Kyril could allow the majority shareholders to sling Donald and Methven out of SAFC altogether. That really is a dream worth having.

I was and still am convinced that the new owner is really committed to the club and respects the fans, and that has been missing for a very long time. Additionally, he is also showing that he possesses the knowledge etc to take us forward to a time of delight once again.


David McKeever (Mordey St)

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I’m not certain of the legal aspects regarding that Mordey St, but I do believe 75% is the magic number to force a change to the ‘articles of the association’. I reckon it’s a pretty long bow to draw though.

Regardless, we’ll see how it all goes. I’ve been rather bemused by some of the reaction around Sartori’s appointment, however I can understand a level of uncertainty given he was involved during the Donald era – although as you point out he was largely absent. Whether this was due to his political commitments, disatisfaction with Donald or something else, only he’ll know.

When the KLD deal was first mooted, it was rumoured Sartori was the connection that had facilitated the deal, and Sartori was keeping his 20 per cent stake in something of a joint purchase. It wasn’t subsequently presented that way, but he’s the second biggest shareholder in the club, and by the look of it he’s going to play a bigger role going forward. The backroom and boardroom appointments have been very encouraging overall, and I think we’re in for an interesting few months as the plans KLD has for the club become more evident.

Sunderland v Charlton Athletic - Sky Bet League One
It’ll go Juan way or the other...
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Please please please can we ask the EFL to play the two legs at Lincoln? If we play against 11 donkeys the SOL will lift their spirit and will make them feel and play like 11 Messis!

Anthony DeGiovanni

Ed’s Note [Martin]: One great thing to come out of this season is it’s dispelled the myth that we’re a hard crowd to play in front of and that the supporters are the reason we sometimes struggle at home! One home game left – hopefully the fans will make all of the difference.

Sunderland v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One
There’s been few home comforts this season
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Can you explain to our manager(s), that we get 3 points for a win and 1 for a draw?

What a season, no prizes for the greatest number of draws!

Pathetic, what chance in the playoffs?

Two draws and lose on penalties!

D Reavley

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Sure they know that mate! The biggest issue for me is the lack of variety going forward. We’ve got one way of scoring generally, and we need more to kill teams off. Despite being very disappointed in the results over the past few weeks, I’m remaining positive – what’s the point in the alternative? We can still go up, we’ve got three games standing in our way. Once the fate of the season is decided either way, then we can pick through the bones.

Sunderland v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One - Stadium of Light
Are the draws down to Johnson?
Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

You ran an article this week with the headline, ‘Which Sunderland youngster do you think can have the biggest impact next season?’.

Why couldn’t they get a game this season?

If they are given contracts then the powers that be must think they are worth a try, Why haven’t they been?

Rant over.

Anthony Lynn

Ed’s Note [Martin]: I must admit I’ve been disappointed Dan Neil hasn’t been given a real go this season – when he’s played he’s looked like a progressive passer of the ball, which is something we’re really lacking in the centre of midfield. Others mentioned, such as Kimpioka, have been injured for large parts of the season.

Overall, though, clubs have young players to develop – it doesn’t mean they’re ready for first team football with us yet. They might need time, they might need reserve football, they may need a loan. If Johnson had tried all of them, he’d be criticised for not having confidence in his senior group.

I think it’s important too, to acknowledge we’ve not had a bad season. Position wise it’s our best in three years. Until the last few weeks we’d not struggled much at all, and it would have been pretty risky to throw in a bunch of kids.


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