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Sunderland v Sheffield Wednesday - Sky Bet League One Play-Off Semi Final 1st Leg

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Fan Letters: “Is this really the reality of the club in the future?”

Yet another story of the club getting things wrong off the pitch and concerns about recruitment in the summer, all in today’s RR mailbag! Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I read the letter about the ticket service on 20/04 and had to get in touch. It feels like there is actually only one person there, and part time. I have emailed them on 4 occasions and have had 2 responses. One response was 4 weeks after the email was sent.

Using the telephone line is even worse with a message saying you will be connected, only for it to disconnect on a regular basis. We have a whole fanbase who may not be digitally literate and we need to protect these fans.

Can they not put Mowbray in charge of this so he can bring in some magicians?

John Shaw

Ed’s Note [Chris]: From my personal experience over the last year or so the club still feels like it’s a mess off the pitch. I also read recently that there is a charge of £10 to buy a season ticket in person at the ticket office, which I can’t get my head around.

I could go on with example after example but the bottom line is that the club have to up their game and start improving operations off the pitch.

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I hope we can sneak in the play offs but we must win all the remaining games and hope other results go our way. However, whatever happens, it’s been a decent season.

There have at least 3 games where we have slipped up at the last minute - Hull, QPR and Bristol City where all these were drawn and 6 points lost which now looks like could be very costly.

I have one player in mind who could make a huge difference in midfield and forward. This player is Joel Piroe who currently plays for Swansea. I think he would make a fantastic signing as he is also a top team player as he provides goals and scores goals.

We missed out on Cameron Archer who now is showing Middlesbrough what he is capable of and I think we banked on re-signing Ellis Simms in end of January which was very slim possibility.

Let’s sign some top players like Piroe and with Stewart starting in the new season, hopefully, Sunderland should be near the top most of the time.

The youngsters are fantastic but may be if Diallo will be back on loan next year, then that would be amazing. I also think Jewison Benette should play regularly.

Kind Regards,

Harish Shah

Ed’s Note [Chris]: I’d say it’s been better than a decent season, I think when you consider the injury problems and a managerial change it’s been a great season. Getting into the play-offs with all of that in the background would be some achievement.

On the subject of recruitment it’s going to be a really interesting summer. Fully expecting players who I’ve never heard of but I’m still excited about seeing playing.

Sunderland v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship
Jewison Bennette
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

No matter what happens in the final few games of this season, we need to focus on the realities of the future (and especially if we do manage to get back to the Promised Land at some stage).

We have a bunch of hungry young players who are currently plying their trade on “modest” wages (albeit them way above what the ordinary fan will be earning). However, what happens when we eventually do go up?

These players will have so-called big clubs calling on them trying to turn their heads with offers of five-ten grand extra a week. Now as we know, contracts are not worth a light these days. If a player wants to be away, he will be away, one way or the other. That gives us a real concern.

This owner seems to have tight fingers on the purse strings and there is no way we are going to be able to compete with clubs throwing daft money at players. Therefore we could lose the nucleus of the squad moving forward time and time again, thus putting us in a never ending cycle of struggling just to survive up there.

I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know loyalty stands for hardly anything when the wage war is open. Players will cite any reason other than the real one when they want to move on. We are in real danger of bringing in youngsters, developing their games and then watching them go out the door just to bring more money in for the owners. Is this really the reality of the club in the future?



Ed’s Note [Chris]: Starting with your final question, then I think the answer is yes, this is the reality of how we develop, but with the correction that the money goes back into the pot.

The owners don’t need to make huge amounts of money out of the club to be rich, but they also don’t want to fund the club in the same way as Ellis Short did because our finances were a mess. We have to accept our place in the world and bringing in young players for cheap and selling them for profit might be something we’ll have to get used to.

I personally can’t wait for the summer, because whoever we might sell, I have confidence that they will recruit talent to replace them.

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


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