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Fan Letters: “We need clarity on Ross Stewart’s Sunderland future”

Thoughts on Stewart’s contractual situation, Sunderland’s new season ticket system, and whether we missed a trick by not signing Nathan Broadhead are in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? Email us: RokerReport@yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Is it Ross Stewart’s agent or Stewart himself who’s holding up the signing of the contract that would keep him at ‘the holy land’?

The owners must be offering him an increase in wages, which is compatible with his excellent performances, but we could be getting close to whether he stays or leaves. All the fans would like him to stay, which he’s also said himself, so what’s the answer?

I’m wondering whether he may be injury prone. Perhaps we expected to see him in the last two friendlies, but I know these injuries take a long time to heal and other clubs wouldn’t sign an injured player.

Hopefully he’ll be fit soon and will stay at the club to get us into the Premier League. We all wish him well!

Bill Calvert

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

Personally, I do think Stewart will ultimately stay at Sunderland.

The situation has dragged on for longer than perhaps anyone expected, but I’m confident that we’ll see the big Scot spending his prime years in red and white.

As Kristjaan Speakman revealed last week, both parties are keen to resolve it and he also mentioned that such contracts can often take a while to thrash out, using the example of Dennis Cirkin’s new deal as proof.

A fully fit Stewart is a major asset to us, and if he can regain his best form and eventually step up as our senior striker for 2023/2024, his goals could be absolutely vital as we aim for the playoffs or even better.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

As per other supporters contacting you about the club’s non-existent customer service, can anyone advise me of what’s happening regarding the new digital season cards and those supporters like myself who are unable to access them?

I’ve attempted to contact the club on numerous occasions via email and telephone but so far, I’ve yet to receive any response other than an automated email which reads: ‘A member of our ticketing team will be in touch to discuss a suitable alternative once the renewal period has ended’.

I’ve already paid several instalments on my season card but if the club refuses my request for a plastic card, I’ll be unable to use the digital format and will therefore be prevented from supporting MY club from within the stadium.

I’m aware that there are many supporters who share my views and the club needs to think long and hard before they end up ostracising those supporters and also their family members, usually bairns, who rely on them for transport to and from games.

Stu Smith

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

As of right now, nobody seems to be any the wiser as to what’s actually happening.

I’ve got a smartphone and I’m waiting for my new season ticket to arrive, but whether that happens in good time ahead of the first game against Ipswich is anyone’s guess, and if we all get into the stadium without any problems at the turnstiles, I’ll be amazed.

The club desperately needs to up its game when it comes to keeping fans informed, as well as accommodating supporters such as yourself who are keen to retain the traditional plastic card instead of a digital version.

The new season isn’t far off, so let’s hope those in the ticketing department are switched on and ready to deal with any hiccups as the new cards are sent to supporters, but I won’t hold my breath on that, sadly.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Everton - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers - PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I’m starting to think that not signing Nathan Broadhead when we had the chance was a mistake.

What did he cost again? £1 million?

He’s good enough for our team.

John Brown

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

Personally, I was a huge fan of Broadhead and I would’ve loved to have seen him return to Sunderland last summer. His move to Wigan, for reasons best known to himself, didn’t exactly work out but he looks to have settled quite nicely at Ipswich.

Clearly we don’t hang around if certain targets can’t be signed, and the fact that we finished as the league’s fourth highest scorers last season was quite an achievement. If we’re going to bring in another striker or two, I’d like one of them to be a similar profile of player to him.

Let’s see how Broadhead gets on in the Championship, and hopefully he doesn’t score against us in the opening game of the season!

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