David Sullivan’s warning that everyone at West Ham, the club he now co-owns, faced a 25 per cent pay cut did no harm to the players’ mood, the Hammers dismissing Birmingham City with a minimum of fuss to put more pressure on us at the bottom of the Premier. As our own aversion to winning gathers strength, we wonder whether there might be a lesson in this for Niall Quinn and Ellis Short …
Two stories about Sunderland and full backs tell us a lot about the nature of football.
Mickey Gray was a decent if unspectacular SAFC player, admired both for being a local lad made good and for the exciting partnership he forged down the left flank with Allan “Magic” Johnston. He is remembered less admiringly for his woeful penalty miss in the Charlton play-off final in 1998, and for a restaurant altercation with Wayne Rooney.
As everyone who supports Sunderland probably knows, he also won a star prize for insensitivity when, on the day several members of the SAFC staff were laid off because of the team’s failures on the field, he arrived for training in his gleaming new Ferrari.