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Fan Letters: Readers react angrily to Sunderland rolling out the red carpet

More sub standard customer service from the ticket office and thoughts on the upcoming FA Cup tie with Newcastle are in the RR mailbox today. Got something to say? Email us:

Photo by Ed Sykes/Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I had a fairly quiet Thursday evening before the Chesters quiz later, so I thought to myself ‘Shoot me in the watch, because I’ve got time to kill’ so I’ve taken myself and the dog up the shop for a bottle of sauvignon blanc.

On the whole, I’ve been very defensive of the club when it comes to thriftiness in the market and getting shot of players over the legal drinking age, even when it includes the player of the season. We were doing well so I trusted their judgement. When it comes to Tony Mowbray, he’s up there for my favourite Sunderland managers but it looked like we were running out of ideas in front of goal so as much as I loved Mowbray, moving on wasn’t the worst thing in the world, because I trusted that we’d replace him well like we did with the bald fella in before him. However, the way we pissed about getting a new manager in was shocking, we had a main target and by all accounts he was interested but then along came those tight purse strings and a top-quality manager was told to leg it. Rumour has it we had two others next in the pecking order, god knows what happened there, then we’ve went and found some divvy with the same vernacular as Lee ‘POMO’ Johnson.

I’m sure he’ll be alright, but once again it’s us going and operating like a club in administration. The way it has handled though, us not having a succession plan in place leads me to believe that it was the bloke at the top getting shot of a manager because of something he said in the post-match interview that week, which makes me think that it wasn’t in the clubs best interest, but the actions of a fucking petulant child. Following this, the way that the club has decided to absolutely trouser our season ticket holders and tell them to suck a fat one if they want their seats, our biggest rivals and their scruffy, shirtless halfwit fans are top priority for their seats. Who’s advising these people?! I’m no mastermind strategist but how many people are going to sack their season tickets off for next season? Where’s any sort of fighting spirit against our biggest rivals?

The main reason for me bothering though is the absolute war crime of a black cats bar set up for the derby. Unfortunately I saw some pictures of the new décor, I’d guess that they’re just for derby day, but the way we’re going on at the moment I wouldn’t be surprised if it was to be made permanent. What kind of space cadet thinks that crossing out ‘haway’ to replace it with ‘howay’ is a good idea? I saw somewhere that it was eight grand to redecorate, or about three months wages of Ross Stewart last season (another penny-pinching exercise, the first time I’ve been upset about player recruitment, however). I really think that this is unforgiveable from the club, the timing of all of this has been relentless too. We should be excited for the game on Saturday, possibly a little nervous, not spending the days prior hating the way our club is being run.

We’ve been doing well, why completely piss it all up the wall? I’m not going to be dramatic and say that someone should hang for this, but what do you do here?


Dear Roker Report,

I can’t believe that the board would desecrate the Black Cats Bar for anyone, let alone THEM.

The disconnect between the board and the fans is clear. KLD has no idea about the identity of our club. Why anyone would even think this is okay is beyond me, let alone actually going ahead with it.

I understand that there’s been no derby matches played since trust fund took over, but that is no excuse. We all knew that the weak apology would come and we knew KLD would distance himself from this, and that is exactly what has happened.

“We apologise to our fans for the understandable concern they have fairly voiced in response and this sentiment is shared by the Club’s Ownership Group and Board of Directors, who have requested an immediate review is undertaken to determine how this process unfolded.

A direct decision has also been taken by the Ownership Group and Board of Directors to return the space to its original state and we once again apologise to our supporters that this was not addressed sooner.”

They must think we are mugs if they think that we believe KLD did not have a hand in this. There is no way the Black Cats Bar would have been violated without the approval of the owner. Also, right at the end they state a direct decision has been taken by the ownership group, to restore the space to its original condition.

Well, if you are involved in returning it to its rightful state KLD, you were involved in polluting it.

Rolling out the red carpet for this dirty club owned by the worst human scum in the world was a disgrace. Add to that the ongoing ticket fiascoes and horrible treatment of the fans by the club and you have a wound that I don’t think will ever be healed. Fans treated horrifically in their own stadium but you treat THEM better than us? For what? More money? NO.

It doesn’t matter if they get us to the PL, it wouldn’t even matter if they get us into Europe, I just don’t see how the disconnect between KLD and the fans can be bridged after this.

KLD, some may forgive, but many won’t. But you can bet no one will ever forget what you did, or allowed to happen.


Scott Smith

Dear Roker Report,

Just to let you know what the ticket office thinks of our faithful fans, this was their response after I enquired about supporters who don’t have digital access for tickets and have a physical season card for the FA Cup game on Saturday.


As you moved seats, you’ll receive match tickets via email for the fixture, and customers who require paper tickets will need to come to the ticket office to arrange these and will incur a £5 per printout charge.

Kind regards,

Ticket Office.

Billy Miller

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, Billy, thanks for your letter.

Suffice it to say, the club is having an absolute nightmare with PR at the moment, and it’s sad to see that the ticket office is still being run to such a low standard and leaving loyal supporters unsure as to what’s happening.

As I write this reply amid the fallout from the disgraceful redecoration of our stadium ahead of Saturday, I’m questioning exactly how much they value our support or whether they see us as expendable commodities whose custom can be easily replaced if push comes to shove.

Certainly worth thinking about.

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Dodd - CameraSport via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

The media are saying that Newcastle aren’t looking forward to the FA Cup game and that their players aren’t happy, although the bookies are making them favourites.

Several have said there could be a big upset and that we’ll win by the odd goal. This is speculation, but Newcastle are running scared.

I said it would be 7-0 to Newcastle after our game against Rotherham but the way we played against Preston has changed my opinion to a narrow win for the Lads.

If we can play the same team (possibly with Patrick Roberts coming back as Abdoullah Ba isn’t up to standard) we have more than a good chance of progressing further this year after feeble starts over the last two to three years.

Keep the faith!

Bill C

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

I do agree that despite the much-discussed difference in value between the two squads, this game is winnable for Sunderland.

We’ll need to pull out an absolutely immaculate performance and hope that Newcastle have an off day, but with injuries affecting Eddie Howe’s team and their league form not particularly great, why can’t we shock them and secure a place in the next round?

For our players, this will be unlike anything they’ve ever experienced, but they’ll have to deal with it and show why they’re so highly rated. Do that, and there’s no reason we can’t celebrate a victory on Saturday night.

Sunderland v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

I don’t doubt you’re inundated with a host of messages about this fiasco but here’s my take... for the last few years I’ve fully supported the progress and plans of KLD, Speakman and co and any criticism their way I feel has been unjust... they’ll make mistakes along the way but more right has been done than wrong... that said there's some things you don’t recover from and today's images of the black cats bar with their shit emblazoned over our signage to appease them lot is just that.

They should never have been given the bar in the first place and it's bad enough they get their grubby little 13 fingers on the glasses in there, but to then allow it to be desecrated with filth... this is our castle and our king opened the gates for the enemy.

There’s no coming back from this whatever the circumstances of how it happened... time to go... KLD OUT.

Paul Robinson


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