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Fan Letters: How important is spending £££ vs finding value in the loan & free transfer market?

RR reader Paul raises some interesting points about how Sunderland are approaching the transfer market. Where is the value - is it in free agents and loans, or spending to get exactly who you want? Email us with your views:

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

With the season less than two weeks away, the lack of activity in the transfer market is scary.

Yes, the re-signing of McGeady and O’Nien are very positive - but surely we are weaker than at the end of last season? I do believe that our scouting department will be working flat out, but as it is the silence is deafening.

So as yet we haven’t spent any cash on transfer fees - we are reliant on loan and free transfer signings. Is that good enough considering we have a new billionaire owner (who by the way has gone very quiet)?

Denver Hume must be waiting for a better offer, so why not cut the rope and let him float off into the distance?

As yet we haven’t replaced Charlie Wyke's 30 goals, so where are those goals coming from? Because they wont be from Grigg, O’Brien, or Stewart, so how are we going to score the 90+ goals to get us promotion?

Lack of ambition suggests that Sanderson and Jones were never coming back to help us.

Personally, I’m all for giving youth a chance - get them blooded in, and if they are good enough they could get 30 to 40 games of experience at this level, but history says we don’t particularly give youth a chance this can be seen by the number of youngsters we lose every year.

I’m concerned that our rivals are strengthening while we are dithering but with the new season on the horizon and crowds back into our magnificent stadium - hopefully, we can get the job done.

Come on Sunderland trust in our youth.

Sunderland til I die

Paul Crawley

Ed’s Note [Gav]: You seem conflicted, Paul! In one breath you’re questioning the club’s ambition and bemoaning a lack of spending, but want to see us give youth a proper chance. I think the key here is that there is a middle ground - we can bring in genuine first teamers and then complement them with our best youngsters, which I think is what they’re trying to do this season.

Personally, I don’t think spending money guarantees anything. We paid fees for Grigg and Dobson at this level - surely, it’s about identifying the right players, regardless of whether they’re paid for, loans or frees?

The window isn’t shut yet and there’s still plenty of time for the club to bring players in.

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One Play-off Semi Final 2nd Leg Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ed’s Note [Gav]: We’ve had a number of letters in response to yesterday’s edition of Fan Letters, where RR reader Charlie gave his views on the potential for needing a vaccine passport to attend games at the SOL. Here they all are... and this will be the last time we post about it here on Fan Letters for the foreseeable.

As you can see, we don’t discriminate against people for their views and whatever your opinion is, we won’t censor it. Instead, we leave it down to you readers to make up your own minds, as this is a place for all Sunderland fans.

Hope you all understand.


Dear Roker Report,

I saw a letter from a fan today re: Vaccine Passports. I too want to go back to the stadium, but I have C.O.P.D and spent time in hospital before there was a global pandemic.

Get the vaccine or stay home!

Darren Carter

Dear Roker Report,

The author of this letter is absolutely bang on. He’s certainly not a d**k, as suggested above by someone with far less education. I’m not sure the answer to this is to “name call”, especially when he has put the case so intelligently and based his assertions on a clinical understanding way in excess of then name-caller! It is also evident that unlike most people who posted here, the author is not being dictated to and indoctrinated by the mainstream press! He gets his information by researching what is truly happening out there, away from the agenda of the mainstream!

Highly experienced physicians and even vaccinologists with genuine concerns as to the safety of the vaccine are being highly censored, muzzled and threatened with the loss of their license. We no longer have freedom of expression. There is undoubtedly a political and financial agenda here and only those who have the sack to step outside the mainstream know what is truly going on. He’s right. Something deeply dark and sinister is happening right now, and we are doing nothing about it.

A friend of mine is a big time conspiracy theorist and previously I was constantly battling him and rolling my eyes. A few years ago, long before covid hit he predicted that a virus would be “released on us”. He also predicted that vaccinations would be pushed on us and that those that didn’t comply would be denied access to public events and even grocery stores, and this would eventually lead to digital identity. This is happening right under our noses. My friend has been scarily bang on with everything he predicted. How does anybody account for this? I can’t!!

One more thing. If you are vaccinated and that does offer protection, why do you care about people who choose not to? If vaccinated people can still contract and spread the disease, even though less likely to spread it (or so we are informed by the mainstream) why do we need a vaccine passport unless it’s part of a plan as predicted by my conspiracy theorist friend? We will all see what pans out here. My friend had his sources, and his sources were correct.

I do not deny the existence of Covid 19, nor do I doubt how dangerous it is. But there is about a 99.9% survival rate. Why are we subjecting our children to an experimental vaccine about which we know nothing of long term side effects? If you are one of the majority and you believed all the rhetoric shoved down our throats and you chose to put a needle in your arm - that’s your choice and I respect it. I will not ever take the vaccine until the clinical trials deem it to be 100% safe, no matter what privileges are denied to me. I would expect a reciprocation of that respect. My friend also predicted that the vaccination programme would cause a huge divide between those who choose to vaccinate and those who don’t. That is happening right here on this platform!!! This is another deliberate element! Instead of passing judgement we should all respect one another’s decisions. I have strong reasons for making mine, as you had for yours!

Finally, of course, I understand the importance of reducing infection, but by introducing vaccine passports we are simply playing into their hands and making it easy for them to dictate and control. If this is the agenda, it’s our responsibility to stand up and oppose it and I hope clubs like ours take a stand before it’s too late.

Ten Souljers

Sunderland v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Vaccine passports are absolutely essential - you need a licence to drive a vehicle, a passport to leave the country, so what’s the big deal about vaccination passports?

It is selfish in the extreme not to get the jabs, unless you have an exemption on medical grounds. You are endangering everyone else.

I will not attend a match unless passports are mandatory.

Brian Thompson (Sutton Coldfield)

Dear Roker Report,

I am sickened by the selfish attitude of that man. What happened to the simple fact that by having two jabs it is less likely that HE will contract this awful virus pass it on and KILL someone. People are dying!

Gerald Kearney

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