Monsieur Salut says: when I said Salut! Sunderland had perhaps been too kind to Ellis Short in the past, I should have made it clear there has been no collectively unanimous view. Malcolm Dawson, the deputy editor, has been much more critical. His comment deserves to be read as a self-contained piece …
While M Salut and others have perhaps been kind to our owner in the past I have been bleating on for years about how he was not the saviour that some thought he was. I have written articles and posted critical comments for years now and for quite a while got plenty of thumbs down.
He was, I was reminded, investing his own money and saying how much he loved the club. He sported a FTM badge that he bought from the Love Supreme shop and he was by all accounts “a nice guy”.
He is showing his true colours now. The truth is he has never cared about Sunderland AFC as a club or understood just how much of an important part of the community it is. He destroyed that link when he marginalised Niall Quinn and to a lesser extent Kevin Ball, two men who also came to the area and the club and fell in love with it. Now Short is bored he is just wiping his hands of it. He has so much wealth that even the massive debt the club is carrying is peanuts to him.
American sports teams are “franchises”. The LA Rams become the St Louis Rams and the St Louis Cardinals become the Arizona Cardinals, then the St Louis Rams go back to Los Angeles, while meantime the Oakland Raiders move to LA and back again. OK not all US sports teams are like that – The Packers, the Bears and the Steelers are three with long term associations to a city and a set of passionate fans but I can’t believe that foreign billionaires buying into English football will ever feel the same passion that the true supporter feels.
I have fallen out of love with top flight football and all that surrounds it. For a short time I was deceived by the great escape engineered by Big Sam, but even before the pre-season friendly at Hartlepool I realised I had been conned.
People are comparing us with Leeds and how they have fallen but I fear our descent will be more like that of Coventry City, Portsmouth, Blackpool and the original Accrington Stanley.