Monsieur Salut writes: Norman Giller, at Facebook, kindly gave permission for Salut! Sunderland to reproduce these words, from the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) website, marking the sad passing of a man whose name was and is synonimous with the reporting of football in the North East. I met Bob Cass only once, on the pitch at Roker Park when SAFC held an open day for the media after reaching the 1992 FA Cup Final (I had spomehow persuaded someone at the Telegraph to let me cover it). But until other forms of media began to replace print, it was impossible to have grown up the NE and like football without being aware of Bob and his work …
Question: what is it about the appalling suits who run much of football that makes them think they and their clubs are above criticism?
Answer: a mixture of control freakery, arrogance and sheer stupidity
Want to hear about ALL that’s going on in football? Then don’t bother with 5Live, TalkSport, Sky and much of the national press, says Pete Sixsmith. Oh, and the headline writer inexplicably overlooked Arsenal, which at least spares us 100 indignant comments from hypersensitive Gooners …
One of my Philosophy Football T-shirts says “Bored By The Big Four”.
Add Manchester City to that and you have my feelings towards the Premier League a month before a ball has been kicked.
Billy The Fish has smartly tabled the number of times certain clubs appear on TV and, surprise, surprise, it features the clubs that Sky and ESPN consider to have the biggest drawing power. At the top, we have Liverpool and Tottenham with seven appearances each. Seven!! How’s that for fair shares and neither of them are in the Champions League? In fact, Liverpool aren’t even in Europe (except geographically, Mr Geog Teacher!- ed) .
It goes without saying that Salut! Sunderland is sad at the imminent departure of just the sort of player we rather hoped Sunderland AFC would see as central to future development. After the Darren Bent saga, we also hoped we would never again sell a key player without having a suitable replacement or replacements lined up. It remains to be seen whether our wish will be granted in at least that respect …
So after all the “Jordan Henderson’s going nowhere” posturing, all the attacks on sports journalists for supposedly making up transfer stories, guess what? Reports all over the press, on the web and on the air say Jordan Henderson has all but been sold to Liverpool, just as the reviled hacks said would be the case. And just as I finish writing this piece, up pops a statement from Sunderland AFC:
Jordan Henderson will hold talks with Liverpool after the two clubs agreed a fee for the midfielder.
The 20-year-old, who played for England under-21s on Sunday, is set to discuss personal terms with the Anfield club.
A club spokesperson said: “A fee has been agreed with Liverpool for Jordan Henderson and he travels to Anfield today with the club’s blessing.”
With the club’s blessing! All we seem to be waiting for, it seems, is word on whether the fee is £20m, £13m plus David Ngog or something else entirely. On the reported inclusion of Ngog in the deal, I will say no more just now than that he was not the sort of player I had in mind when hoping against hope that we would not repeat the glaring errors of January.
We’ll take a long time getting round to it, but the question is simple enough: what possible interest was served by Steve Bruce refusing, if the reports are correct, to attend the post-match press conference? …
Salut! Sunderland supports Sunderland AFC with absolute passion. It was created by a journalist who started his career in the North East and later moved to Fleet Street (though he has also spent thousands of pounds and devoted countless hours to following the club since boyhood).
None of that will ever stop this site criticising SAFC when criticism seems merited, or criticising the press when that is merited, too.
There are times when I rise up and defend my confrères in the press, and times when they make me despair. Today’s headlines about Steve Bruce being caught “in another race storm” make it a day for despair.
Getting on for 12 years ago, I saw Sunderland beat Watford 3-2 away in the first of Peter Reid’s seventh top seasons. SuperKev grabbed two of the goals, one of them having taken a massive deflection, and Gavin McCann the other.