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Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship

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Fan Letters: Jack Clarke transfer clickbait will just not go away...

Thoughts on the former chairman’s memoir, Jack Clarke’s future, and the condition of the Stadium of Light are in the RR mailbox today. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I thoroughly recommend Sir Bob Murray’s book, ‘I’d Do It All Again’.

It’s a brilliant story about Sunderland AFC, the local community, and a man who has the club and the people running through his veins. A fabulous read!

Thanks for the podcasts, too. They continue to be one of the highlights of the week.

Mike Treanor

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Mike. Thanks for your letter and for your kind words about our podcasts. That’s much appreciated!

On the subject of Sir Bob’s book, I have to admit that I’d be extremely keen to read it and to see what’s covered and in how much depth.

It was under his stewardship that the club hit some of the greatest heights we’ve ever experienced, as well as some truly crushing lows, and I’m curious to get a sense of how Murray himself saw it, as well as the rationale behind some of the decisions he made during his time as chairman.

Soccer - FA Barclays Premiership - Sunderland v Blackburn Rovers - The Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Here we go again!

I’ve just read an article stating that the club are letting both Burnley and Brentford know that Jack Clarke is available in January 2024 for £15 million. However, I don’t believe for a second that the club has actually said as much.

It’s yet more garbage media coverage in order to get some clicks and to unsettle the player. Money aside (as he’s already a wealthy young man by any standards), why on Earth would he go to either Burnley or Brentford?

It’s odds on that the Clarets are going to come crashing back down to the Championship and we might even pass them on the way to the Premier League.

As for Brentford? Yeah, right.

Go and play in front of 12,000 fans and see how fired up you can get for a match. I know we can’t stop this kind of media sensationalism, but it’s so irritating and the worst part of it is that the outlets reporting this nonsense are supposed to be pro-Sunderland.

Why would they do this?

Peter Milton

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

Frankly, this ongoing transfer speculation surrounding Jack Clarke is like a broken record, and it’s following the same formula every time. It’s extremely irritating but the fact that we now have players who are attracting Premier League interest is also a major endorsement of our recruitment policy.

When it comes to Clarke, I think it’s a very simple scenario, regardless of what journalists or agents might be claiming.

We shouldn’t be selling the brilliant winger for a penny less than £30 million, because in today’s market, that’s what he’s worth, in my opinion.

He’s young, immensely talented, and will only improve, so I feel that we should be holding out for that amount as a bare minimum, if and when the time comes for him to depart, which hopefully won’t be for a while yet.

Blackburn Rovers v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I just want to mention the current state of the Stadium of Light.

I was at the match on Saturday, sitting in the south west section of the premier concourse, and I was shocked at the condition of the stadium.

We were among the first to arrive and there were empty bottles on the ground and other pieces of litter. Also, the roof and walls were rusty and looked run down. Surely this could be easily rectified with a little bit of power washing?

Also, I’m genuinely interested to hear your thoughts on why we never seem capable of filling up the stadium.

The premier concourse, although busy, was nowhere near full with empty seats scattered all over. Also, the lower bowl seemed to have a lot of empty seats, which is embarrassing.

Maybe the club needs to think about waiting until the lower bowl is full and then opening the premier concourse to ticket sales?

Liam Maynard

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Liam. Thanks for your letter.

The Stadium of Light has been in a state of disrepair for a while now, and I agree that both inside and out, it would certainly benefit from being spruced up and restored to the condition it was once in.

It’s not a new issue, as we all know, but it is an important one and I hope the club will address it at some stage.

When it comes to attendances, there seems to be a whole host of factors at play (pricing and electronic ticketing issues among them), and I daresay that if you asked supporters who are still staying away for their opinions, you’d probably get plenty of interesting answers.

43,000 for Middlesbrough was a strong figure but can we maintain those kinds of numbers for the ‘lesser’ league games this season?

I really hope we can, because with the right kind of positivity, it can be an inspiring place for the Lads to play.

Sunderland v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Matt Watson/Southampton FC via Getty Images


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