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Fan Letters: “Sunderland should consider installing a retractable roof at the Stadium of Light”

Suggestions for stadium improvements and an opinion on support for players taking the knee are in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I trust you’re all well!

In my opinion, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus should consider the possibility of installing a retractable roof at the Stadium Of Light.

It would protect the fans and the interior of the stadium from the harsh winter winds and rain that we often experience, which is a negative factor in our style of attacking football.

Just as importantly, with the roof closed, it would amplify and intensify the atmosphere that our fans create at every home game, which visiting teams don’t like.

What are your thoughts on this?

Terence Rickaby.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Terence. Thanks for getting in touch!

You raise a very interesting point, and it’s one that, in some senses, I fully agree with.

Enclosed stadiums often make for raucous atmospheres and as you rightly say, it would certainly increase the intensity. You only have to look at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as an example of how a closed roof can help a team. If that could be replicated at our home, it could be spectacular.

On the other hand, football is an outdoor game, and retractable roofs, whilst popular in places such as America, still feel like something that aren’t suited to British sport in general.

We like our traditions in this country, and the idea of freezing your backside off for ninety minutes whilst cheering the Lads on still seems like something that we are fond of, for whatever reason that might be!

Sunderland v Cardiff City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

There has been a similar and disrespectful response to players taking the knee by a vocal minority at both home and away matches, and we can’t turn a blind eye and a deaf ear any longer.

How do our black players feel about it?

The majority of fans must take a stand, and as an example, I like this response from a Sheffield Wednesday fan:


Ed’s Note [Phil]: Thank you for contacting us.

It’s a real shame that some fans continue to engage in discriminatory behaviour in the face of an ongoing effort to eradicate racism from our game, and the atmosphere at home games this season has often been marred by instances of abuse.

Sunderland has always prided itself on being a club with the right values and a tolerant and welcoming ethos, and I agree that all fans need to continue to call out inappropriate behaviour wherever they see it. The club’s reputation depends on it.

Nottingham Forest v Aston Villa - Premier League - City Ground Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images


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