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Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 2nd Leg

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Fan Letters: “Lee Johnson should be nowhere near Sunderland!”

With no sign of players signing new contracts the RR mailbag discusses why, as well as more strong opinion on Lee Johnson’s position as manager of Sunderland.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images


Dear Roker Report,

The club have offered new contracts to four players who were pretty good last season, but clearly it’s all about money. If any of these players were proud to pull on the shirt and play for us they would have signed up already.

What’s happened to the game?!

I remember when Bobby Kerr said before a vital game something like they will have to climb over our dead bodies if they want to win. Where has the passion gone?! SAFC Till I Die.

John Simpson

Ed’s Note [Chris]: As much as I’d love the lads pulling on the shirt to have the same feeling as Bobby Kerr did for the club, the game is a world away from what it was almost fifty years ago.

I don’t blame the lads at all for looking after themselves and making sure they get the best deal, as much as football is full of money and in most cases a fantastic career, it can also be ruthless.

As far as the club are concerned I just hope they are planning in a way that the waiting for the signing of new contracts isn’t going to interfere with the plans moving forward and we won’t risk anything through these decisions being dragged out. Contracts are usually officially up at the end of June/beginning of July so I’m thinking the fun might start then.

Soccer - Sunderland AFC Photocall - Roker Park
Bobby Kerr
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Kevin Twinn’s post on the comments page more or less echoes what I said in a letter to RR last week.

They, or at least Rich disagrees saying that there’s a lot to be hopeful about and that it is to be expected that we should be constantly disappointed. I disagree with Rich on both points.

If all that I have to look forward to is disappointment, then SAFC has lost a customer. I was excited when KLD’s takeover was confirmed but really fear that he does not realise the seriousness of the situation at the SOL.

Another two seasons in this league (or worse) is completely unacceptable. I am sure that he realises that the SOL is expandable to close on 65,000 but he will only get that with vast improvement to the team squad and that improvement must start right now, today.

Non-playing staff and stadium improvements are all very well and good but with all due respect, with the exception of player recruitment personnel, all other financial investment must go into getting the quality players that we urgently need and the right man to guide them.

Without the quality, KLD can forget all about 65,000 because another season like the last three and he will be lucky to get 15,000.

Mick Colman

Ed’s Note [Chris]: As far as I’m concerned we’re building up to a new season and there’s nothing like the feeling of anticipation of a new season - whatever the situation. It’s been over thirty years since my first one and I still feel it.

The new owner has come in with a plan and brought in the people he sees fit to implement it to it so I’m not going to be writing it off before they start. It’s a new direction and the last path we went down didn’t work, so let’s get behind them and see where it takes us.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 2nd Leg
Kyril Louis-Dreyfus is overseeing a huge summer at Sunderland
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Short n’ sweet Lee Johnson should be nowhere near SAFC.

What our new owner sees in him must just be his patter, which doesn’t impress lots of SAFC fans.

Simple question - if you had billions of £s would you give Lee Johnson the task of leading SAFC onto better things?

Look at his track record lower league obscurity. Message to our owner - save your money and leave SAFC if your answer to our problems is Lee Johnson. But a better idea would be invest your money into someone with a proven record and contacts above League One, League Two and the National League... AKA LEE JOHNSON.

Give him the funds, make him an offer he cant refuse and one day you will have a statue next to Bob Stokoe.

Lee Johnson... god please give me strength. He proved his worth with ten games left and promotion in our hands and he blew it.

Jarvis n’ Billy

Ed’s Note [Chris]: Lee Johnson wasn’t my first choice but he was given what was left of a squad built by Jack Ross, Phil Parkinson and whatever signings Stewart Donald saw fit to make independent of any advice from management or recruitment people.

For me, where that squad finished was a about par, and I’m hoping with the new structure the club have in place that the head coach is now a cog in the wheel and this summer is going to give a good indication on where we’re going.

The new owner has only had five months to sort out the mess that was left behind so we have to trust the plan that is currently being put in place.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 2nd Leg
Is Lee Johnson the man to lead Sunderland back up to the Championship?
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images


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