Three cheers as Ellis Short’s publicists show contempt for contrived Newcastle row

Frightfully Tactile, Men (if I may say so) ...
Frightfully Tactile, Men (if I may say so) …

Let’s hear it for the lad/s and lass/es of the Sunderland corporate publicity machine.

Those are not words that trip lightly off the Salut! Sunderland laptop. We’ve had our ups and downs and it’s fair to say the ups must have faded from memory.

But credit where it’s due. This sentence, from the Shields Gazette, quoting the SAFC press office after it was asked about Ellis Short, the club owner, wearing an FTM badge when meeting the President of Tanzania, sent my estimation of Louise Wanless and her team rocketing:

Sunderland AFC declined to comment.

Why on earth should anyone have expected them to be willing to dignify, with any kind of comment, such a minor media storm over such an unimportant matter?

Just imagine the PR team toiling over an appropriate response: “Hey Louise, does this work? ‘Mr Short sincerely believed the letters stood for Follow the Mackems, was mortified to learn there was a blunter and perhaps more commonly understood alternative and unreservedly apologises to anyone of a delicate disposition who may have taken offence’.”

Someone needs to get a life. You can bet the Tanzanian leader, Dr Jakaya Kikwete, survived his visit to the Stadium of Light with his sensibilities intact despite the incidental manifestation of tribal rivalry. He’ll have been more keen to hear details of how SAFC proposes to help with the development of an academy to be built in his country.

Short is said to have obtained the pin badges from A Love Supreme‘s shop close to the ground. An ALS employee, Chris Thompson, is quoted as saying he refused payment when the boss took out his wallet: “I wasn’t prepared to accept the money. ‘You’ve just spent over £20m on Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson,’ I told him. I think we could spare him a few badges.”

Martyn McFadden, the ALS editor, pointed out that the acronym was meant in a jovial way. He realises, as I do, how seriously certain folk take the Wear-Tyne banter but also knows that censoring fairly harmless examples of it would be at best meaningless, at worst counter-productive.

Even Steve Wraith, editor of a NUFC fanzine, No 9, seemed unwilling to be drawn into manufactured controversy. “I think it would be wrong for Newcastle fans to criticise Sunderland over it,” he told the Gazette. “We’ve got a clown in charge who’s done much worse things than that … I think it needs to be taken tongue-in-cheek. There’s enough bad spirit between the teams drummed up while the football season is in full flow.”

Two cheers for that and before I forget – without banging on again about football clubs’ disrespectful treatment of fanzines and fan sites – let me mention that the other thing I very much liked about all this was the fact that Short had walked into the ALS shop with the intention of saying hello and buying something. That earns him and the club my third cheer, and it’s a loud one he’ll hear from the sunny south of France.

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Monsieur Salut, by Matt
Monsieur Salut, by Matt

32 thoughts on “Three cheers as Ellis Short’s publicists show contempt for contrived Newcastle row”

  1. As it’s a non story – ‘Forgotton tomorrow morning’. I know it’s grammatically poor but I’m happy with it.

  2. Thanks to various Joe Kinnears and all others who have come up with FTM possbilities. I will try to announce a winner tomorrow sometime so fee free to add your witticisms

    And, looking somewhere near the top right corner of the page, we’re on 1,994,933 – 5,067 short of two million.

  3. “I once saw Sheffield United play in a kit that was the identical colour to the luminous jackets of the stewards. I trust someone will do some research before we wear that kit otherwise James McClean will have a ready made excuse when his attempted passes go astray”

    Yes I remember that kit aswell Malcolm. Early 90s possibly. I remember a home game where it looked as if some of their fans had invaded part of the Roker End.

    • I was a kid in 90/91 season and Roker End was full of the yellow kits, thousands of illunimous yellow balloons went up in the air as their team ran out – in white!!!!

      One of my earliest memories in football. Vinny Jones played for them and I think we lost 1-0.

  4. It actually means ‘Fashion’s Top Man’ and I expect Paulo to easily out wear Moyes, Arse et al with a stunning season’s long Italian inspired wardrobe to make all SAFC supporters proud!

    P.S. Hope the team does well as well but Im still undicided about that yellow away strip!

    • I had a theory many years ago that teams playing in yellow, like the old Arsenal and Everton change kits in the days of Charlie George and Brian Labone, had an advantage under floodlights as they stood out more than other colours.

      Certainly Ferguson had the same thoughts that time he made the team change out of their grey kit at half time – Southampton was it?

      Like you I’m not sure about the new yellow gear yet though it is much more striking than last year’s muted offering.

      I once saw Sheffield United play in a kit that was the identical colour to the luminous jackets of the stewards. I trust someone will do some research before we wear that kit otherwise James McClean will have a ready made excuse when his attempted passes go astray.

      I assume that PDC’s Italian inspired wardrobe won’t include any purple and yellow golfing sweaters!

      • You have no idea how plesantly suprising it is to discover a like minded sartorial appreciator amoungst all these rough types.

        My biggets worry about the yellow strip is that it will clash terribly with Colbacks red hair, the management team really have a descision to make here and I’m afraid that Jack may have to be sacrificed here when away from home or adopt wearing a jellow chifon head scarfe…..that would work I think.

        Golfing sweaters are so last season by the way.

      • I agree about the death of the golfing sweater and I’m hoping Signor Di Canio will take up the wearing of that most neglected of gentleman’s accessories, the cravat. A monocle and spats wouldn’t go amiss either.

      • Really Jake, I think you have been absent fom the catwalk arena for a while!.

        Bit of this would work, but the cravat is far too bourgeoisie for what is afterall a very proletariat game. I would substitute the cravat for a frilly shirt topped off with an undone bowtie to emphasize Mr Di Canios work ethic for Match Of The Day but for a full SKY shoot it would have to be Morning Suite with a red and white carnation combination in the buttonhole to emphasis the very tribal elements and round it off with a balck cane with gold handle motif in the shape of the club badge.

        Exquisite, can’t wait for the season to start.

  5. Look you lot, it actiually means ‘F*!#ing Tata Mate’ so stop this bleedin competition otherwise Pardew is going to get F*!#ing confused and not get the F*!#ing message!

    That F*!#ing lot up the road are so dumb is I the only one that knows anythink about F*!#ing football, gor blimey bless me jellied eels.

  6. “Surprised Edwards didn’t make something up, however, and attach it to this”

    As if, as if…………………………………………………..

  7. Farewell to Mike?
    Forgotten the Manager – for JFK; how the Mags must be hoping for a grassy knoll moment.

  8. I’ll take Paolo’s passion over Kinnear’s apparent senility any day of the week.

    I know who should be most worried and who’ll be organizing a ‘boycoutt” soon enough.

    It will all be water off a duck’s arse to Joke though.

  9. Hell, this might have been a much better competition

    So far we have
    Frightfully Tactile Men (to illustrate the prehistoric handshakes)
    Follow the Mackems
    Fine the Mercenaries
    Something else that slips the mind but ends The Mags

    I cannot promise a prize but come up with the best “FTM stand for” of all and I may stretch to a mug. Mag entries welcome, geordiedoonsooth

    • Well F*!#ing hell I bought two dozen of these little bleeders thinking it meant “finish the mags’ which is what I would have done had it not been for me bleedin heart!

      Still the way my F*!#ing second coming is going the sentiment could come in very F*!#ing handy indeed.

      By the F*!#ing way before I make a complete a@%* of myself again, what the F*!# is NUFC’s F*!#ing ground called this week?

      • “What are the names of the players you are hoping to sign?” I may ask the Mag’s new Director of Football. Rumour has it he is already trying to beat West Ham to the signing of former Barcode Carol Andrews, Aston Villa’s Irish Under 21 international defender Edna Stephens and Fulham midfielder Young Enoch.

        Surely someone is jokin’ ‘ere?

  10. There’s enough shit being thrown around the nutters don’t know the difference between banter and bile. The press don’t help and as Steve Wraith said we call you lot SMB’s. I’ve got lots of “friends” down here who are mackems and we have some great banter often finishing with one side or the other telling the other one to F Off but we have a pint later. Both sets of fans must be somewhat worried about next year. You’ve got a lunatic for a manager and we’ve just appointed a blithering idiot as a Director of Football.

    • In all honesty Di Canio is just very passionate which you have mistakenly interpreted as you are unaccustomed to such displays , whereas Kinnear is ……………..the best thing that could have happened for a Sunderland fan, you just couldn’t make this stuff up!

    • Di Canio’s methods may be seen as madness by some , we’ll see next season as you say.But honestly and tribal points scoring aside I can’t see any benefits whatsoever of having Kinnear anywhere near your club in any capacity and that includes cleaning the bogs.

  11. I agree with what Steve Wraith says. Enough to talk about in terms of football………………and by the way FTM! 🙂

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