clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship

Filed under:

Fan Letters: “Thank goodness the Ross Stewart saga is over!”

Thoughts on the summer arrivals and departures, Sunderland’s plan for the future, and another new chant are among the letters in the RR mailbox today! Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Thank goodness that the Ross Stewart transfer saga is over.

I hope he’s signed for the wrong club in red and white stripes and that our season finishes with either automatic promotion or victory in the playoffs.

Good luck to Tony Mowbray and the squad for the rest of the season!

Ian Frame

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

I agree that it’s a relief that the whole ‘will he or won’t he?’ issue surrounding Stewart’s future has been resolved and that we can look to the future with a group of players who are all fully committed to what we’re trying to achieve.

I do feel that the deal ultimately worked well for all parties.

We got a sizeable fee for a player with a year left on his deal, Stewart bagged himself a lucrative contract on the south coast, and Southampton got themselves a player who, when fit, can be a real threat in this division, so it was a satisfactory outcome all round, in my view.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Thank you for printing my letter regarding my concerns about our club moving forward.

I’ve been of the opinion that the ‘project’ isn’t what I was hoping for going forward: buying young players and selling them on when we may not have adequate replacements.

However, I’ve been put firmly in my place by one knowledgeable fan, who brought up a speech by the owners that had actually passed me by.

Apparently it was said that the club will only sell players if it means we can move forward, and that we’ll not sell our best players unless we know they can be replaced. I guess this was highlighted with the refusal to sell Patrick Roberts and Jack Clarke.

I do feel better now as I was genuinely concerned we would only remain a club on the cusp of the Premier League, but with no real aspirations to establish ourselves up there.

It was also pointed out that the sale of Ross Stewart is a good bit of business, considering that we don’t even know if he’s going to be the same player again.

Humble pie time for me yet again!

Peter Milton

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

Amid all of the concerns and speculation about the future direction of the club, it’s important to remember that the direction we’ve taken is a radical one, and its something that many Sunderland fans, myself included, have never experienced before.

Kristjaan Speakman has been open about our ambitions and I don’t think there’s much more he can say in that regard, even if people still remain sceptical about what’s going on at the club.

His interview from earlier in the week offered clear explanations as to the reasoning behind our summer transfer business, and I thought it was very interesting.

There’s a plan in place and they clearly intend to stick to it, and there’s no reason why we can’t achieve the aim of top flight promotion on the back of how we’re now operating.

Dear Roker Report,

Even in the Championship and with the signings we’ve made, I don’t expect anything above a tenth-place finish this season.

We have some great talent but the leveller is referees who, depending on TV appearances, tend to have really really bad days.

We do have senior players to come back but the kids in the reserves need blooming as well.

Adrian Scott

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

It’s still very early days when it comes to making predictions about where we’ll finish but I do believe that with a fully-fit squad, the top six is certainly within our reach.

Tony Mowbray will have some tough selection decisions to make when we get a clean bill of health, but that’s a very good thing.

Let’s hope that any further dreadful refereeing performances can be overcome and we won’t be derailed by poor decisions made by the men in the middle!

Sunderland v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I have to agree with the comments made about the doom and gloom from so-called supporters.

The recruitment team did a first class job in the deals they did and with the players they brought in.

We can only go forwards and upwards, and barring any injuries, we can follow the owner’s plan to the letter and regain a place in the Premier League.

Malcolm Donnison

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

The turnaround from last Thursday to Saturday afternoon was quite something.

From fears of a ‘fire sale’ and all of the hysteria that accompanied it to doing some interesting business on Friday and then hammering Southampton the following day, it just showed that we can be a little hasty in our judgement, especially with social media rumours swirling.

This is a very, very exciting squad and I fully agree that if we can continue to progress in the way we currently are, there’s no reason we can’t look forward to top flight football in the not-too-distant future.

Sunderland v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Has anyone else noticed that in the recent ‘On This Day’ article featuring Sunderland vs Manchester United, the photo of George Best is back to front?

Also, the Roker is at the wrong end!

John Pilkington

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

I’ve had a look at the photograph you mentioned and to me, it looks normal, but I could easily be wrong!

Perhaps it was just a quirk of this particular picture if it’s come out back to front.

Dear Roker Report,

How about this for a chant?

‘He’s six feet two

Coming straight at you






It’s my chant but feel free to use.

Ray Laws

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Ray. Thanks for sending that chant to us!

One thing is for sure, our new midfield enforcer is certainly becoming a fans’ favourite and I'm absolutely certain that within a few months, there’ll be plenty of songs being sung about Pierre Ekwah both at home and away!

Sunderland v Southampton FC - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Robert Smith/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Why is a Mag working in our club as press officer?

Black and whites in our club disgust me to the core, and it’s another example of our club going downhill.

‘Sunderland Heroes’

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

Does it really make a difference which clubs the members of our office staff might support?

It’s not as though they’re posting thinly-veiled Newcastle propaganda or incorporating pro-Saudi subliminal messages as part of Sunderland’s own output, after all.

If a Newcastle fan working in our press office is a problem, I’d recommend you steer clear of watching our 1973 FA Cup final with Leeds, as at the time, we were managed by a man whose roots were on the black and white side of the regional divide, and he’s considered a Sunderland hero, too!

Soccer - FA Cup Final - Sunderland v Leeds United Photo by Peter Robinson/EMPICS via Getty Images


The SAFC 365 Advent Calendar (Dec 7th): Seventh heaven at the Stadium of Light!


Fan Letters: “It may be harsh, but there’s logic behind Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland departure”


The Sunderland of 2023 is ruthless - much like modern football

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report