Salut!’s Week: Bolton, Aston Villa & corporate football’s ugly face

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Another busy week, another rough guide to Salut! Sunderland for those readers who cannot get here every day … please note that there may be delays this weekend in posting Bruce’s Banter and other post-match coverage. M Salut will be at the game, so will Mr Sixsmith and Ms Dawson and it will be case of who is able to get items posted first (bearing in mind that Sixer wouldn’t know how to) ….

Salut! Sunderland is about to undergo a makeover. It has been a long time coming but soon the home page will more closely resemble a newspaper format. This will bring the benefit of keeping especially good reads prominently displayed for several days rather than slipping ever further down before toppling off the bottom edge and plunging into the archives.

Jeremy Robson’s robust piece this week on football ownership and what it might mean for the game – and the equally impressive contributions it drew from readers – is just such an article. I was proud to post it and delighted with the responses.

This was my introduction:

Every decent football supporter was outraged by the Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre’s repugnant call for changes to TV rights that would divert more and more money to a handful of “big” clubs. Jeremy Robson is surprised more attention was not given to another corporate threat to the national game, this time from Suits of the imported variety …

And here, clicking anywhere along this line, is the piece.

The Aston Villa game enabled us to present another top-quality interviewee in Salut!’s popular “Who are You?” series. The Rev Leo Osborn, Villa-supporting President of the Methodist Conference, offered some thoughtful and thought-provoking responses.

Click anywhere on the following introductory paragraph to be taken directly to the full article.

For Methodists, the Rev Leo Osborn* is, as President of the Methodist Conference, roughly equivalent to Archbishop of Canterbury (though the church has no supreme authority). He lives in the North East but avidly supports Aston Villa, our opponents on Saturday. Leo may have regretted his instant agreement to be this week’s “Who are You?” guest when he saw how many questions we’d lobbed his way. We’re chuffed that he answered them anyway. Look out for his forecast of a Sunderland win and a challenge to Bill Shankly’s “life or death” quotation …

There were two excuses to look again at the Darren Bent saga. Pete Sixsmith posed the question: to boo or not to boo after Monsieur Salut had explained why Bent’s claims that he did not betray Sunderland supporters ring so hollow.

Earlier, we looked at what the win at Bolton meant for the club, especially in the light of Nicklas Bendtner’s warning that no one should get carried away by one victory, and the debate about Steve Bruce’s managership; click here. Again, the reader response was very healthy. Pete Sixsmith had already analysed the game, pointing to the difference it made to have strikers in the starting line-up.

As usual, you can find lots more if you navigate the site by scrolling down from the home page or using links in both sidebars. Otherwise, Ha’way the Lads …

Monsieur Salut

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