UPDATE: to no great surprise, the early voting has “unbounded joy” way out in front, with “joy” and cautious “hope” following on. But Sixer and James Hunter remain unconvinced the story even has legs …
The Chronicle’s James Hunter, who writes well on SAFC, advises us to to treat the reports with caution. Then along comes the BBC with its own version, namely that our absentee owner Ellis Short has spoken to (or, as the Beeb inelegantly puts it, “spoken with”) Niall Quinn about a possible consortium takeover.
Salut! Sunderland has no inside information. But it sincerely hopes – or, since I can speak only for myself, Monsieur Salut hopes – it is true.
Out with the mugs and in with the print or t-shirt. For the next two games, Guess the Score has the ear of those excellent people at Art of Football, occasional sponsors of Salut! Sunderland competitions and run by Nottingham Forest fans among whom we found a Who are You? candidate earlier in the season.
So guess the score in Sunderland vs Fulham, be first with the right scoreline and you will win one of the two Niall Quinn/Kevin Phillips items shown: a fine print or a t-shirt depicting two heroes of Sunderland’s relatively recent past.
Monsieur Salut writes: it seems an awful long time ago. Then, BBC Radio Newcastle’s brilliantly excitable Simon Crabtree had produced the Mother of all Goal Commentaries with his description of Carlos Edwards’s scintillating winner against Burnley to push us closer to promotion (achieved as champions with the 5-0 away win at Luton in the final game). It’s in the superb YouTube clip you see above.
But Ten Years After – OK, a little more than 10, since the Burnley match was on April 27 and the Luton game on May 6 – we all need to have our spirits lifted. Then, we were in the hands of the Drumaville consortium, a group of Irish businessmen led by Niall Quinn as chairman and Seaham-born John Hays as vice chairman. I have seen the message Niall sent Drumaville’s surviving veterans after our relegation was confirmed this season; it was a model of dignity and pride.
Can the memory of that astonishing bottom-to-top transformation inspire whoever, ultimately, accepts the job of managing Sunderland and whoever is subsequently the club’s owner(s). We shall see. But here is how we reported on promotion 10 years ago …