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Fan Letters: “Brexit makes it almost impossible to get decent players from abroad”

Is Parky right for Wrexham? Are footballers too greedy? Is Brexit working? What is fing around? These and other questions arise from today’s mixed mailbag of fun.

Would Priti Patel’s immigration rules have allowed Arbenit Xhemajli to sign for Sunderland this summer rather than last?
| Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

A Sunderland fan, who lives in Wrexham, I am looking at the recent past with the appointment of Phil Parkinson as Wrexham AFC manager.

Some thought he must have impressed the “Hollywood owners” with his Netflix appearances, a factor apparently in their takeover, but correct me if I am wrong the featured managers were Coleman, Grayson & Ross.

Local opinion on Parkinson is divided as to negative - Sunderland and more positive - Bolton. Led me to thinking about managers almost idolised in one team and hated in others.

Without naming them

+ve - Everton & West Ham (?) -ve Sunderland

+ Southampton -ve Sunderland

Anyone think of managers hated in one team but an idol on Wearside?

Andrew Bailey

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Diolch am ysgrifennu i mawn, Andrew. It’s always nice to hear from another north Wales-based Sunderland fan; there’s a few of us about! You’re right, managers often either click with a club and a fanbase or they don’t. My mate’s a Blackburn fan and hates what Big Sam did to his side’s style of play, but he's loved on Wearside.

Roker Report’s Tom Albrighton (whose dad’s from Rhyl) has been on the Fearless in Devotion podcast this week talking about Parkinson’s appointment at the Racecourse Ground and told them all about his time here and didn’t think it a wise move, but the Wrexham fans on that pod were still hopeful that he could replicate his previous successes in getting promotion. Either way, it might make interesting TV.


Dear Roker Report,

Money ball not football sick of it players and agents run the game and sky absolutely killing the game for fans. July has arrived one player has signed a contract out of four on our retained list. Pure greed again if they haven’t signed pack your bags and go elsewhere obviously they couldn’t give a shit about the club.

The club should stick to a limit they can afford and sign players that want to come the club. Not the usual money grabbers we have been lumbered with in the past.The whole transfer market is a joke Ipswich and Sunderland have cash and agents are milking it this is league one the whole situation is out of control. Action is needed by the EFL they need clear rules for instance if Derby or any other team break the rules relegate them simple as that.

Sunderlands situation is that players are probably asking for ridiculous terms. I honestly think we have no chance of signing Sanderson the lad will go elsewhere that’s football. Jimmy Hill started this a free market for players to earn what they can get. A wage cap is needed or this great game is going down the pan and quickly. O’Nien and Hume have probably been offered contracts, go elsewhere lads if your hearts are not in it at least Wyke has the balls to say he won’t sign.

Totally losing interest in who we are going to sign its all a about agents. Thought I would never lose interest in football but enough is enough two words Greed and Money that’s all its about now.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Alright there, Mark. Players and the people they employ to manage their careers have a right to earn the going rate for their talents; they operate in a competitive labour market like you and I - but with less freedom to change jobs. To be frank, if the money in football should go anywhere, it is into developing, supporting and rewarding the dedicated young people who make the game we love happen.

I know you wrote in before news of Luke O’Nien’s contract came through, but calling players like him and Denver Hume greedy for considering their options and trying to get the best possible contract - one of only three or four they may sign in their short careers - is out of order. These are people who’ve given their all for Sunderland AFC, and we’re meant to be Sunderland supporters! Maybe you might be better off watching some amateur football next season.

The real fault lies with the financial structure of the game, ownership models, the way the transfer market operates, and an overall expenditure cap on senior player salaries as a percentage of turnover would be a sensible reform that a new football regulator should definitely consider. Hard salary caps and maximum wages are crude instruments that only hand more of the money in the game to the shareholders of football clubs.

Luke O’Nien Signs New Contract At Sunderland AFC
A credit to Sunderland AFC
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It is going to be difficult. The new Brexit rules makes it almost impossible to get decent players from abroad. As for good players from UK it seems when we want to step up stronger teams are also interested, seems we are scouts for Mags and Boro.

Ian D

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your letter, Ian. European players are now a luxury for the elite, not plebs like us. Ah, the broad sunlit uplands...


Dear Roker Report,

Last 2 seasons we were gonna going to do this and that ending doing nothing this season is starting the same put an offer in for wolves full back 3-3.5 mil don’t think we will get him but stop fing around.

Donald Harrison

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your cutting analysis Donald. Keep the faith!

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