A View from the Avenue: SAFC a scuttled ship and we’re drowning with it

Paul Summerside: not past caring – just yet

Monsieur Salut writes: Paul Summerside tends to post his thoughts at the Salut! Sunderland Facebook page (and how I wish all of its 740 members came here at least once a day or even once a week). Sometimes, I pick on them and reproduce here, with scant editing. Sometimes, I’m a bit pushed and add them as a comment. And sometimes, I’m so pushed I do nothing. But this seems the perfect accompaniment to the sheer if despairing brilliance of Pete Sixsmith’s report of the meek acceptance of a Villa stroll. As you’ll see, Paul is one of those already voting ith his feet …

Read moreA View from the Avenue: SAFC a scuttled ship and we’re drowning with it

Sunderland’s decline under Short ‘more Accrington Stanley than Leeds’

Happier times: Malcolm Dawson with Super Kev

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 …

Read moreSunderland’s decline under Short ‘more Accrington Stanley than Leeds’

Beyond belief: the football club owner who has never spoken to his manager

M Salut, drawn by Matt, colouring by Jake

Welcome to the strange world of Ellis Short, reluctant and reclusive football boss. In the past, Salut! Sunderland may have been too kind to the SAFC owner, accepting that he had put lots of his own money into the club only to be let down in horrific fashion by managers, executives and players.

But now we learn from the Sunderland Echo that Chris Coleman has never spoken to Short.

Read moreBeyond belief: the football club owner who has never spoken to his manager

Chroniclers of doom. Where, Ellis Short, will SAFC be a year hence?

Can we keep the faith?

Gloomy times, gloomy thoughts from Monsieur Salut

No football club, whatever its history, has a divine right to play at all times in the highest division (Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal may claim exemption from this rule of natural justice though each has suffered past relegation).

It follows that no club has a divine right, once relegated, to descend no lower. Think Leeds, Villa, Southampton, Nottingham Forest among others.

Come May, if not – mathematically – a good deal earlier, Sunderland supporters may be forced to accept the power of that second “no divine right” rule. How much deeper we can sink is open to speculation.

Read moreChroniclers of doom. Where, Ellis Short, will SAFC be a year hence?

A View from the Avenue: have the miracles run out?

Paul Summerside prays for better times

Paul Summerside doesn’t mince his words. He calls himself a ‘lapsed SAFC fan’ but is one of 20,000+ longing to resume active support. Ellis Short and Martin Bain may throw up their arms in proclaimed innocence, but what can either of them actually offer those who can take no more? As ever, the pages of Salut Sunderland are open to the owner and/or chief executive. As ever, don’t hold your breath …

At church this morning
, the crew of Fulwell 73 (oh the irony) were filming for a forthcoming documentary on this season at SAFC, called Keep the Faith.

Read moreA View from the Avenue: have the miracles run out?

A whinge and a prayer. From Blunderland defending to Alice in Sunderland finance

Ken Gambles: ‘can’t bring myself to give up but I understand those who can’

Ken Gambles makes a welcome return to writing action with some thoughts he wish he didn’t feel the need to express …

    Following Saturday’s abject defeat with yet two more worthy entries for the Bumper Book of Comic Defending, a number of questions raised themselves.
 First up
* what is the point of going to watch Sunderland at present? Performances and results are all too predictable and it’s difficult to see where improvement will come from. The press and message boards, even our own stalwart, Pete Sixsmith, are on the verge of finding something preferable to do with their time
* from my own point of view, I’ll no doubt carry on as I admit I’m locked into it and at 68 feel I might as well keep attending. I can’t however criticise anyone who feels the situation at the club has reached such a point that not attending becomes the favoured option
Next question
* what exactly are Ellis Short’s intentions for the club? Plenty of speculation is taking place but from the man himself and his placeman Bain, silence. We all know the debt is huge but how another relegation can ease the position is hard to see and yet with zero money spent on transfers (loans excluded) it would appear that this is what is being accepted.
* The esoteric world of finance is real Alice in Wonderland stuff and I wouldn’t presume to say I fully grasp all the ramifications, but if say the debt is £65m, is it such a huge difference if it were £68 m, which would at least have given Chris Coleman (our only hope) more of a fighting chance than relying on loans of inexperienced players?
Another question
* (something we were forewarned about), why is the refereeing in the Championship so abysmal? I’ve seen 22 league games this season and in the overwhelming majority the referees have been poor, very inconsistent in decision-making and often losing authority. They have been so bad that they almost (yes, almost) make Kevin Friend look competent. Who knows what to expect in Division One?
Here’s another 
* can we do anything to please the gods of football? Would it be worth praying or paying homage as for the past 15 years they have inflicted on us 19 and 15 point seasons, constant relegation struggles, four home wins in the last 30 or so games and now the prospect of successive demotions.
Please, please give us a break.
And finally
*  I could go on but just one last question: Billy Jones? [come back tomorrow morning, Ken, and you’ll see our Billy lauded by the Bristol City “Who are You?” interviewee.
Click on the image to take you back to the Salut! Sunderland home page

Bristol City Guess the Score – and are we harsh on Ellis Short?

Have a go. It costs nowt (rather like most of our recruits)


Monsieur Salut writes: this is really the new instalment of Guess the Score. Enter below the scoreline you expect, hope or fear at Ashton Gate on Saturday. If you are first with the correct result, you will win a prize though you must have a UK delivery address to receive it. Ha’way the Lads and all that but forgive me if there seems very little else worth saying about a game most of us probably have uneasy feelings about while hoping for the best …


Yes, I got angry at the weekend and directed some of my anger at our absent, reluctant owner. Yes, he has plenty to answer for.

One crass comment in his tame, underarm bowling sort of interview with the official club site in November particularly annoyed me. He complained that anything that appeared in the media about him was based on speculation or invention because “I don’t talk to the press”.

Read moreBristol City Guess the Score – and are we harsh on Ellis Short?

A View from the Avenue: a fan’s Post-it note to Ellis Short

Paul Summerside offers Ellis Short some advice the chairman may find has a familiar look

For Paul Summerside, the time is right to wish a happy 2018 to all at Salut! Sunderland and its Facebook page – and to reflect on “Groundhog Day. 2017 revisited”. It’s hardly an open letter to Ellis Short, more a quick reminder that if we set aside changes in personnel, what is needed now if Sunderland are to avoid a humiliating drop into the third tier is pretty much what was needed a year ago …

Read moreA View from the Avenue: a fan’s Post-it note to Ellis Short

Wrinkly Pete: the blame game and how Sunderland fortunes could revive

Peter Lynn, aka Wrinkly Pete

John McCormick writes, I arrived back from Spain (where I’d been able to eat outside) around midnight last night, to find a duff thermostat and a colder house than expected. And then we woke up to snow. Not as much as Pete Lynn, who reported 4 inches where he is, but enough when the heating doesn’t work.

Luckily, Colin or Malcolm had drafted a few words from Pete and this morning, while texting our local plumber, I was able to finish the post with a heartwarming postcript that he’d added while snowbound:

Read moreWrinkly Pete: the blame game and how Sunderland fortunes could revive

Sunderland in crisis: Ellis some way Short of convincing

Jake: ‘we won’t just mind our own business’

The Northern Echo publishes the full transcript of an interview with Sunderland owner Ellis Short at the official club site. You can see and hear it at safc.com and decide for yourselves how searching the questions were.

Salut! Sunderland will just pick out a few key points, all of which you’ll find amplified at the links above:

Read moreSunderland in crisis: Ellis some way Short of convincing