The Ithics Files: (1) when Magic asked for more ‘or I join Rangers’

Someone had the idea of reproducing a few of the best moments of It’s The Hope I Can’t Stand, the shortlived Sunderland fanzine about which Nic Wiseman wrote here yesterday. I can’t promise how many there’ll be, but it was a good shout so here, at enormous effort (I have no scanner), is the first in an occasional series.

We’re back in November 1999. Issue 16 is out. The end, sadly, is nigh for Ithics. But what better than to go out on a high? The mag actually managed one more edition before closing down. But in the penultimate issue was this extraordinary transcript of hard contract negotiations between our star Scottish winger, Allan Johnston, and John Fickling, then chief executive of SAFC. Sadly, it turned out to be as genuine as the Zinoviev letter, a product of the vivid imagination of Nic’s co-editor, Mark Egan. You can’t have everything …

John Fickling:

Allan, sit down. I hope we can get everything wrapped up today. You asked for £10,000 per week on this new contract. That’d make you one of our best paid players, but we think you’re worth it and we’ll settle for that amount.

Allan Johnston: 20 grand.

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