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Fan Letters: “Let’s just keep a bit of perspective on the rumour mill circus!”

“Let’s just keep a bit of perspective on the rumour mill circus, not get riled up by it all and let it spread negativity,” says RR reader Neil. Got something to say? Email us:

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

Afternoon RR,

I just wanted to make a comment on the old rumour mill and the business that now drives it. Gone are the almost good old days when so and so was seen at Wetherby services buying a Mars bar meaning he was on his way to sign for the lads! Now we have these weblogs - and let’s face it, most of the rumours/info are complete and utter tosh!

Sky Sports have their Transfer Show where so-called reporters in the know have their mobile phones on the desk waiting to be updated by sources, a lot of the time they are just piss poor fortune tellers making not always educated guesses. Case in point, the day Spurs had accepted Bayern’s offer for Kane, Sky reported sources close to the player said he was leaning towards staying at Spurs - next day he was in Germany having his medical.

Whilst all of this is laughable at times it can cause negativity to spread around a club's fanbase. The latest to be subjected to the rumour mill is Roberts being linked with Celtic, Southampton - and yes, in one article... Blackburn!

Let’s just keep a bit of perspective on the rumour mill circus, not get riled up by it all and let it spread negativity.

I have faith come the end of the transfer window our beloved club will be in a good place to have a successful season... if it’s not, then that is the time to start asking questions.

I have however heard from a source DNA from a stamp licked by Raich Carter in 1947 has been extracted and he is being cloned, rumour is he will be fit to play by mid November!

You heard it here.


Soccer - Football League Division One - Sunderland
He’s on his way back!
Photo by Barratts/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I live in East Sussex and have done for years so admit home games are too far away and away games impossible to get tickets for, such is our magnificent support. So I follow the Lads on TV, online etc. Debating with my dad, brother and nephew, who do regularly attend is fun, albeit, in my dad’s case likely to cause an argument as he wears the most rose-tinted specs ever, even during the lowest point in our history before KLD took over.

While, for the most part, the last year has seen us regain our pride and there’s been significant forward momentum and some great football and certainly a few of the best goals scored anywhere, there have also been some glaring mistakes.

Not signing Simms for one. Did we really not have the money - for a proven player at this level Mowbray was certainly getting a tune out of and fits our system? And here we are scratching around for a striker, all the while hoping Stewart gets fit, stays fit and, well, stays. Signing Simms would have made the Stewart situation a whole lot less critical to our chances of getting in the playoffs again.

Now, it’s entirely possible a permanent or loan signing will come in and all will be well. But time is running out, there is real dismay that this hasn’t been sorted and the rumours over Mowbray’s future have resurfaced. All too predictable, all too ‘typical Sunlun’.

This is the biggest club outside the PL, and bigger than many in it. Once again, as always, the fans give their backing. The 40k plus home crowds deserve better. This season is critical. Fail to get promoted and the best players will undoubtedly leave.

Not the end of the world for the owners maybe but that will set us back, possibly years, in terms of getting promoted.

Which brings me to the final point. Mowbray has done a stellar job. But he must be given the backing to continue to move forward. IF we had signed Simms, we would be looking far more dangerous. IF we fail to keep Batth, Roberts, Clarke, Gooch and Pritchard, we will be weaker, as a squad, and that is not acceptable.

Players may have the power but really, if the unity and harmony in the dressing room is as real as we are all lead to believe, no one goes before the end of this season, when we may have gone up or come close again and ideally have wrung all the value out of experienced players we need to balance the exciting youthful talent and one or two, eg Roberts have signed new contracts.

Being a hot bed for young talent is one thing, a very good thing, but Shankly was right and if Evans and O9 deserve new deals, so do the others seemingly coveted by the likes of Celtic, Southampton and other promotion rivals.

Generally, I think Speakman and the scouting system deserve a lot of praise but I also think it’s time for the ownership to hold firm, let no one leave, and spend enough to get in a striker at least as good as Simms, or better.

Surely obvious to everyone that already everything depends on it. Mid-table mediocrity would be a massive failure to deliver on the promise of last season.

Simon Bland

Coventry City v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship - Coventry Building Society Arena Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Many of today’s fan letters refer to KLD not spending his cash to benefit SAFC but perhaps Roker Report could explain to supporters the restrictions that currently limit what can be done.

As I understand these rules a club can only spend what it earns and that doesn’t include gifts from the owner.

Debt has to be balanced every 3 years with limits of £13 million per year with maximum of £39 million.

So transfer fees (purchases) and players wages have to be contained within income from sponsorship, TV and match day receipts.

So you can’t just remortgage the club to buy players.

It’s a finely balanced process of signing new players and releasing others. Therefore older players on higher wages going out with younger players on lower wages coming in makes sense. It must be a tricky task maintaining a balance.

Success on the field helps but we can’t blame KLD for failing to finance success.

Bill Fisher

Sunderland v Ipswich Town - Sky Bet Championship - Stadium of Light Photo by Richard Sellers/PA Images via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It seems to me that the stumbling block for acquiring this new striker that we clearly are desperate for is that the board won’t offer more than about £2.5m for any available striker and the short-listed players, obscure as they may seem at this point, just out of reach.

It’s probably too late now but has the idea of crowdfunding been mooted?

If 40,000 of us fans donated £100 each, we’d clear that hurdle. We’d be well rewarded surely over just one season and have a decent mid to long-term investment on our hands, then all the board would need to negotiate would be the salary. For the club it would be like a permanent loan deal. We could have a buy-out clause for the club.

What does the panel think?



Ed’s Note [Gav]: Good one.

Dear Roker Report,

If Stewart was to be sold, how much would the club expect to get for him? He did not score a lot of goals before he arrived at the SOL, but he has proved that he is good.

Jobe arrived and scored a couple of goals, but he has to prove that he can keep on scoring and isn’t just a “flash in the pan”. Hemir, well no one knows how good he is until he also proves that he can hit the back of the net regularly.

It looks like three of our best players are no longer rated by the hierarchy, so experience goes out of the window in favour of new arrivals.

Mowbray cannot be blamed for this madness as he has no say in this lunacy. I hope this doesn’t turn around and bite us where it hurts, but Mr. M must be totally frustrated with what the guys who don’t know what a football looks like dictate what he can have and what he cannot.

The people who count, i.e. the fans are getting sick of the antics of Speakman and his buddies, dictating how the club runs. Maybe they can spot talent and get them cheaply, but it’s time we had a good centre forward instead of trying out every week who will play in that position. Other teams know this and will plan how to play around this and we will get HAMMERED a few times before the penny drops.

Unless things improve we won’t even make it into the top ten.

Bill Calvert

Ed’s Note [Gav]: I’m certainly not sick, because they’ve done a great job til this point. When Speakman and his buddies arrived at Sunderland we were marooned in midtable of League One with a terrible squad. I’ll take where we are now over that, even if it means I have to wait a little bit to see us add to the seven players we’ve already signed this summer. But, each to their own!

I feel for Mowbray but at the same time have to remind myself that not every club has every player they want at this point. The last week of the summer window is always crazy and the time where most business gets done.

In my opinion, the time to judge this window and the decision-makers is after it has closed.

I hate transfer windows closing after the season has started but that’s another discussion for another day. All it does is cause unneccessary aggro.

Sunderland v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hi all,

I spend a lot of my time in Germany & watched the majority of games last season via the international streaming pass. This season the only option open to me seems to be the audio-only version. I’ve contacted the help desk but they’ve been useless.

Have any other readers had the same problem?

Keep up the good work.

Keith B

Dear Roker Report,

Keeping Lynden Gooch is a must.

He’s not the greatest player by his own admission, he’s versatile he can play in most positions if asked. He’s a mackem (just a bit yank), his partner is a local lass, he is one of us.

He MUST stay.

Alan Fenwick


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