Dear Roker Report,
Still haven’t gone away TFT?
Sunderland is not some experiment for you to play with. This is a football club that is rich in the tapestry of the English game, arguably one of the 10 big clubs in the Country. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a Sunderland fan who want this to happen.
Please, if you genuinely care about fans, you’d walk away. If you don’t, you have proven you could not care less. And only want one thing, an attempt to prove the concept works in order to further your own ambition, and not Sunderland’s.
Everyone here that works with, for, or invests in TFT can see the reaction. You all know that this will never have a positive reception. You seriously expect that Sunderland fans won’t see straight through the lies?
Fan Ownership? Really? You think that’s what all of this is?
TFT is using borrowed money to purchase 39% of Sunderland AFC, how is that money repaid? The fans are expected to foot the bill, the ICO from TFT will be used to fund the takeover. Then what? Since DAO’s aren’t legally recognised. An individual, or a group of individuals, will have the sole rights to those shares. Meaning we will pay, and those individuals will financially benefit. It’s not fan ownership unless Sunderland fans directly own the shares. What TFT is offering is the illusion of fan control, but really they are the ones benefiting.
What are they going to use these benefits for? Simple, they want to buy £1 Billion worth of football clubs. We will be the advertisement, as FC Episkopi has become for this purchase. Clearly showing they only care about one thing, furthering their own Brand. Remember when Mike Ashley turned St James’ Park into the Sports Direct Arena? That is what this is. (Even though as a Sunderland fan, it was quite funny at the time, and is still quite funny to bring up to this day)
You have clearly shown a contempt for Sunderland fans, throughout every engagement I have had with a TFT member. You just can’t understand the deep, and almost religious connection Sunderland fans have with the club. This isn’t a choice for us, this is what we are. You guys can just walk away, and disappear while we are left picking up the pieces of the mess you will leave behind. Nobody at TFT represents the city, the fans, or the culture.
You are sports fans, not Sunderland fans, and for that reason you will never be welcome.
To quote Sire Leopold Amery, “In the name of God, go”.
But it shows the self-assured hubris that your ideas are. You clearly have not, will not, and never will listen to Sunderland fans and what they want. In the nicest way possible, consider this reaction, the reaction of every single Sunderland fan you will speak too
Or have you not spoken to any Sunderland fans? When have you consulted any fan groups? These aren’t questions that have legal restrictions placed onto them. Have you held some sort of public audience, to gauge the mood? Do you actually care about us, or is this some fantasy you can’t let go of, and will destroy anything in your path to achieve it?
I couldn’t express in stronger terms how much I don’t want this to happen,
Please, go away. Far, far away. Because if you step foot in that stadium, as shareholders, you will truly understand what it feels like to have 46 thousand Sunderland fans telling you to F**ck off, and that will happen every time you so much as think about turning up.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for writing in Marley, you’ve summarised the facts that we know and set out the overwhelming consensus position of Sunderland supporters pretty well there. I note that you’ve started an online petition too, which at the time of writing on Tuesday is getting up towards the 500 mark.
I don’t expect that our writing and podcasts or your petition will make TFT walk away, but it’s certainly worth the effort to demonstrate the widespread opposition to having a “fan token” merchant owning, trying to make money out of the fanbase, and holding back our club.
As I wrote in Roker Report yesterday, there are two men who could stop this nonsense in its tracks - Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven. It is well within their power to reject this potential deal as totally inappropriate for a club they once claimed to be custodians of. By washing their hands of this deal and seemingly doing zero due dilligence of the people who’d approached them, they’ve managed the impossible - to further tarnish their reputations on Wearside.
TFT, Stay away from Sunderland AFC - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/ElITm13wd7 via @UKChange #SAFC #Sunderland @RokerReport @jamesallcott @joel_gradwell @_The72 @ALS_Fanzine @SunderlandAFC— Marley Gibson (@marleygibson4) June 20, 2022
Dear Roker Report,
Just have to post what a shambles my friends have had to renew their season tickets. One friend has been going fifty years and has had to move to two seats down from where he has had his seat for fifteen years, it’s a disgrace.
The excuses they have had for not getting their tickets are laughable. For instance, your email was lost in cyberspace really! Since ticketmaster have been involved it has been a disaster.
The whole ticket services need reorganisation because ticket master involvement is not working.
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Cheers for your letter Mark, always good to hear from you but not when things have gone wrong for your friends. There’s so much that needs to be done off the pitch in terms of “customer service” and ensuring that fans’ interests are front and centre at all times in every decision the club makes.
Right now it feels like the human has been taken out of the equation completely and the computers have been allowed to take over what is - ultimately - a people business.
It makes me wonder whether having a boardroom populated by rich blokes who’ve worked in engineering, the law, and commodities trading isn’t necessarily the best mix for a retail and entertainment business. Change is required.
Dear Roker Report,
Excited for the fixtures coming out Thursday. Does anyone know whether Newcastle’s fixtures will have any baring on ours around opening day, new years day, final day etc?
Ed’s Note [Rich]: Thanks for your question, Paul. It’s my understanding that the fixture computers are programmed to keep Sunderland and Newcastle’s fixtures apart on those big days in order that Northumbria Police are able to cover both fixtures.
Obviously there are so many factors that it’s not always possible, and these days - especially in the Premier League - the games are often spread out across holiday periods to ensure there’s a game on TV at all times.
We’ll all find out on Thursday morning, and Roker Report will be live to discuss our Championship schedule with a special live Twitter Space from 8.55am.
!— Roker Report (@RokerReport) June 20, 2022
This Thursday morning: join the Roker Report team LIVE ON TWITTER SPACES FROM 08:55HRS as we react to the release of Sunderland’s Championship fixtures!
We’ll see you then!
https://t.co/zzwC8LPi2A#HawayTheLads | #SAFC ❤️