There is a hint of discontent at Salut! Sunderland, says Monsieur Salut.
We’re broadly pleased at the process SAFC have made under Jack Ross, aided and abetted by the breath of fresh air introduced by the new owners.
But we have our own little local difficulties. In the week that preceded the win at Bradford, and immediately afterwards, Pete Sixsmith and Malcolm Dawson wrote magnificently for this site. John McCormick has subsequently added more of his painstaking analysis of the statistics and trends. The only thing missing has been readers, or enough of them to make it all seem worthwhile.
Monsieur Salut bears some responsibility. The pop-up ad that greets anyone landing on the site is, as I have admitted at our Facebook group pages, an ugly carbuncle. I regret accepting it, even though the site needs a modest income to finance hosting and other charges plus the cost of competition prizes (we previously had a sponsor for these).
That said, it is not to difficult to close down the ad – there’s a cross in top left corner but equally there’s one in the right hand corner that looks to some readers like another way of returning to Salut! Sunderland but takes them to the betting company’s site instead. If my experience is a guide it’s even more annoying on a mobile phone – I end up having to load the url twice.
My solemn promise is that this form of advertising will not be permitted once the present contract runs out. For now, I have raised it with the advertiser who promises to investigate a possible improvement.
Beyond that, it remains disheartening to see work of the quality my colleagues produce go unread by so many. Just getting rid of the pop-up may or may not change that, but forgive me for feeling that there are some days or weeks when we have more opposition fans coming here than supporters of Sunderland AFC.
We are not in competition with anyone. Other sites have greater resources than Salut! Sunderland – it would be difficult to have less – and may be better at what they do than we are at what we do. But the effort put into running Salut! Sunderland needs to be reciprocated. Otherwise, our raison d’être has run its course.
Back to football. Have a go at guessing the score in Saturday’s game at Shrewsbury. I’ll stick to the prize format – the usual mug for a Sunderland winner, something appropriate for an opposing fan.
Be first to be right, have a UK delivery address and you win. There’s a backlog of prize mugs waiting to be ordered but I’ll get round to it sooner or later.
Ha’way the Lads.