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Fan Letters: More reader opinions on managers, owners, sporting directors and more...

More of our readers have been in touch with their views on management, owners, sporting directors and all that other good stuff... Got something to say? Email us:!

Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Once again the powers that be, KLD & Speakman have f****d the supporters wishes up, probably because Speakman’s powers would have been diminished under Keane, I’ll give Neil a chance but I’m not holding my breath he’s Johnson under a different name. To me Speakman’s totally f****d this up sacking Johnson before having someone lined up to take over & then not going for the fan’s choice, I mean Speakman’s recruitment has largely been disastrous Baath (could be spelt wrong) looks terrible, we may as well of kept Flanagan.

Finally, I would have gave Nigel Clough a shout - we should have had his father instead of Adamson approx 40yrs ago, powers that be f*****g things up again, he’s done alright everywhere he’s managed with little or no money, I’d have liked to see him given a chance with a bit money behind him - that’s my thought’s anyway, but what do I know I’m only a thick supporter

P.S I noticed Metven & Sartori have reappeared?

Dave Gibbons

Ed’s Note [Rich]: This club is not a democracy, and even if we owned it as fans, we wouldn’t get to make decisions about who is in charge of the football side of the club.

As much as I think Roy Keane would have been a strong candidate and a week and six points have been sacrificed to the recruitment process, to be fair to the board it is their job to take the emotion out of the situation and make an appointment based on a candidate’s acumen and the overall needs of the club. What we think, in the end, shouldn’t come into their calculations.

Nigel Clough might well have applied for the job, but we shouldn’t be recruiting on the basis of where someone was born or who their dad was. I’m sure that Alex Neil is eminently qualified for the job of the Lads’ Head Coach and we should all want him succeed.

P.S. Methven and Sartori are shareholders in the club and Sartori is a family friend of the Louis-Dreyfus’... so I’d be quite surpised if they didn’t have at least a passing interest in crucial decision making processes going on with a business that they part own.

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

Dear Roker Report,

Firstly I 100% agree with comments made regarding the debacle of the last 2 weeks but I cannot agree with the manner in which some of our supporters have expressed their... dissatisfaction. Ok mistakes have been made but the amount of vitriol being aimed at KLD, in particular, concerns me.

Let’s be honest, without his takeover this club would be in a far worse situation, possibly insolvent, points deducted and finding ourselves in a similar situation to Derby County.

Let’s not bite the hand that feeds us, true things are bad at the moment but god forbid that KLD decides he can do without the hassle he is getting and takes the easy route by doing a Short on us and gives us up as a bad job and walks away.

With all this dissension from so-called Sunderland supporters, he might just be tempted to do so.

Constructive criticism is justified but not criticism given in such a way as to cause severe offence, be careful fans, you could push KLD to far and then where would we be?

Keep the Faith and support.


Ed’s Note [Rich]: We’re all entitled to our opinions, but abuse is inexcusable.

As the largest shareholder with executive control of the club, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has to take responsibility for the decisions he and his board have taken - or not taken - over the last year or so. He knows the score - he grew up in and around a football club, and he has his family’s lawyer, Igor Levin, on the board - a man who is no stranger to the rough and tumble of hiring and firing managers (look into his spat with Marcello Bielsa, for a start) as council.

But I agree, there’s a way to express disappointment and frustration that doesn’t overstep the mark into personal attacks and abuse - there’s far too much of that, particularly online, as I know from my own personal experience.

People make mistakes, errors of judgement are a human failing, and there’s always room for people to reflect learn and improve. I hope that, when the dust settles, there’s a chance for the chairman and the rest of the board to look at what they could have done differently over the last few weeks.

Sunderland v Swindon Town - Sky Bet League One Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Was the reason Roy Keane turned Sunderland down because he was only offered a contract until the end of the season? If the club do not have confidence in their ability to appoint a manager good enough for Sunderland then they are not the right people to be making the appointment. If they have made the wrong choice then what next?

Appoint someone until Christmas? This whole affair has been a shambles, to sack the manager when the transfer window is closing after allowing him to bring in new players doesn’t seem like forward planning to me.

Robin Middlemiss

Ed’s Note [Rich]: I have absolutely no idea, Robin, we can all only guess as to what’s been going on behind the scenes over the last few weeks. I just hope that Alex Neil can get the Lads playing and revive our season, and that he’s given the chance to stick around for a good bit longer than almost every other manager we’ve had in the last 20 years in order to actually implement his plans.

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship
Preston’s Manager Alex Neil during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Preston North End at Stadium of Light in 2018
Photo by Jonathan Hobley - Camerasport/CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Well, Speakman - statistics one win in nine and twelve days to recruitment a new manager. We also have lack of defensive cover and forward cover. The analysis of that is you are incompetent and are way out of your depth. The man has to go whatever happens this season, the figures speak for themselves. The last four seasons everyone knows we needed more pace and strength in the squad, was this addressed know.

All this season we have been putting square pegs in round holes defensively. We got rid of Flanagan and Younger with players injured in these positions its bad decision after bad decision.

Looking forward we have to back Neil apparently he will be on short term deal. The lad should ask for McGeady and Defoe as backroom staff because we need some character in the dressing room and now.

All us fans want is consistent performances over ninety minutes. I can’t think the last time we played well for ninety minutes. Let’s for once get to the playoffs beat the hoodoo and get the hell out of this league.

Mark Wild

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Hi again Mark. I guess the next few months, and the appointment of Alex Neil, will show whether or not this Sporting Director-Head Coach combination can be more effective than the last. I’m sure in the summer, if there’s not been a significant improvement in the “underlying data” then the board will look at whether they have the right people in the right posts.

But perhaps we might also look back at the last two decades and conclude that simply sacking people and hoping things improve as a result is not the best way to achieve long term stability and progress at the club?

As for the backroom staff, this is something that the new gaffer will have to sort out for himself.

04/10/09 CLYDESDALE BANK PREMIER LEAGUE.CELTIC V HAMILTON.CELTIC PARK - GLASGOW.Aiden McGeady (centre) dances past Alex Neil (right) and Brian Easton (Photo by Jeff Holmes\SNS Group via Getty Images)
Once upon a time... Aiden McGeady, then of Celtic (centre) dances past Alex Neil, then of Hamilton (right) back in 2009.
Photo by Jeff Holmes\SNS Group via Getty Images


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