‘And then the draws began’. Not Liverpool and Spurs but the final Sunderland end-of-season review

Pete Sixsmith’s peerless analysis of only Sunderland’s second season in the third tier is deliberately timed to coincide with the moment Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur kick off in the Champions’ League final in Madrid (OK a bit early to make sure). Just felt right …

Colin Randall, aka Monsieur Salut, writes: week after week, men and (less often) women report for newspapers, radio and television on football. Some are extremely gifted, other are less so but perform their duties to the best of their abilities. Bosses, as ever, will get away with not paying people if they can but by and large these writers and broadcasters receive salaries or fees for their efforts.

On sites like ours, usually with very limited income and sometimes with none, the work is willingly done for free. We are fortunate to be blessed with excellent contributors; just take a look at the articles from Malcolm Dawson, John McCormick, Bob Chapman, Ken Gambles, Wrinkly Pete, Lars Knutsen, Bill Taylor, John Marshall and others too numerous to mention. Jake, alias John Clark, chips in with neat illustrations.

Pete Sixsmith towers above all but the very finest of the professionals with his outstanding combination of footballing and general knowledge, natural eloquence and wit. As a journalist, I have been edited as frequently as I have edited others, among them some important others. Pete’s prose never needs more than the lightest of touches.

His material reward is next to nothing, save for the rather rare share of modest advertising revenue and the odd – and also rare – freebie.

Salut! Sunderland‘s audience can number a few thousand on exceptional days but more typically hovers somewhere in the high three figures. Sixer richly deserves to be read by many more. Here is his review of the 2018-19 season, another piece of splendid writing to close the series

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