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Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final

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Fan Letters: “Will Sunderland’s ambitions in the transfer market match Alex Neil’s?” asks fan John

In today’s fan letters, ambitions, transfers, and ownership are occupying the minds of Roker Report readers. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Eventually, we will have to sell someone to reinvest... I hope it’s not the case but does anyone else think Dan Neil may leave this summer?

Ideally, I hope that Alex Neil has big plans for him after giving the lad some time away from the first team, but that may be wishful thinking...

Graham Doody

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for writing in, Graham. I think Dan Neil may well be a big player for Alex Neil this year, like a few of our squad I’ve always thought that they were probably better suited to playing in the Championship where we can expect other teams to come and try to beat us and his range of passing would be a key asset. I’m not sure we do have to sell to invest quite yet, it would be nice if we could build his and other youngsters’ values by allowing them to demonstate their abilities at a higher level.

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

Dear Roker Report,

Can I just ask what people think the club’s ambition will be this coming season? I noted Alex Neil said he wants to compete, which to me suggests he won’t settle for scraping survival. Will the club’s ambitions match his in the transfer market? I worry that if we are unambitious he will walk pretty early into the season.

John Breen

Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for your letter, John. I think that, a bit like the Lasses in the Women’s Championship, the goal of Lads in the EFL Championship next season will be consolidation without falling into a relegation battle. That’s not to say there isn’t an outside chance of a top-six finish for Alex Neil’s side, but if you were to offer Kristjaan Speakman 11th place now I’m sure he’d take it. As for the transfer market, I think we’ll continue to be shrewd, trying to find players with untapped value and as yet unfulfilled potential, but I wouldn’t expect fees to be payed for players over the age of 25 or 26.

Sunderland v Wycombe Wanderers - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Final Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Seem to recall press reporting at the time of KLD takeover that he had an option to buy the Chuckle Bros remaining shares at that same price. Is that not the case? Mustn’t be if they’re touting them around the Monopoly fake money market!


Ed’s Note [Rich]: I think you’re recalling that correctly, mate. Certainly, earlier this year it was made pretty clear that Louis-Dreyfus would be interested in buying our Donald and Methven, and that both would be willing to sell. So two a huge unanswered questions remain - why hasn’t KLD made a move to buy them out, and where does the money behind the other offers on the table actually come from.

We’ve dug about as deeply as it’s possible for fanzine bloggers to do in our spare time. It’s now up to the elected representatives of the Red & White Army and the esteemed members of the press corps to ask the right questions of the right people.


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