Monsieur Salut writes: I detected little optimism in close season about our prospects for a quick return to the Premier League, Hope, yes, but we always suffer from that. I imagine you’d get pretty long odds just now on us recovering from a dismal start and getting back up. As things stand, there’s more chance of winning something playing live casino games than of the present bunch of players leading a determined charge on the top six, let alone the top two.
But we can probably all agree the start to the season has been rather more dismal than most of us expected. Pete Sixsmith’s second goal update from the Stadium of Light reported the start of the exodus vs Sheffield United. And now Paul Summerside, briefly optimistic about the Simon Grayson era, has returned to the sulky gloom he experienced as Sunderland wasted everyone’s time last season (the old Jeremy Robson joke – ‘shall we just fax the points to you and save us all the trouble of staging or attending a game?’- rang true week after week).
Paul has sparked a lively debate at the Salut! Sunderland Facebook group* on the correct response, as he sees it, to the terrible malaise afflicting our club. His is drastic …
So here we are six games in, and the first walk out of the season.
Chants of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” and “are you watching Ellis Short?”.
The response to the first statement is that they are not and, to the second one, a simple No.
Squad-wise, this ramshackle bunch of players made up from last season’s nightmare, some loanees and frees, and money signings of £1.25m, is comfortably THE worst since we visited the old division 3.
Board-wise, Short’s interests lie purely in reducing the club’s overall debt, so he can sell us on. Asap. No more significant money will be invested on players until this happens.
We had a chance during the transfer window to attract quality, but mucked that up by losing at Barnsley, McCormack, Snodgrass, Leadbitter and Lees all deciding against joining us.
I understand the walk outs, having walked out myself a number of times myself last season. Its a rant, a complaint … but unfortunately only one person is listening, Simon Grayson, and he is powerless to do anything.
All down to Short.
Walk outs have no effect; you’ve paid your money or bought your season ticket.
The ONLY way Ellis Short can be forced out is the embarrassment of an empty stadium at kick off.
Disloyal? Extreme? Necessary? I’ll leave you to decide.
But I will never return to the SoL until the root of our troubles, Ellis Short, has been removed.
I want the best for my club, but can no longer support the current set up.
I am officially in football limbo.
* Paul’s analysis is probably shared by many. Another poor result, this time against Nottingham Forest, would have a devastating effect even on the morale of those who consider themselves loyal and determined to keep the faith. But is his decision to boycott the club for as long as Short remains in charge wise, proportionate and fair? It is easy for me to question his judgement; I am in France for another few weeks and have not had to suffer any live SAFC football so far.
Let us know what you think, before and after tonight’s game. And feel free to take a look at the Facebook group, which has a creditable 730 members and is open to all
* And see our great buildup to SAFC vs Nottingham Forest by visiting the Salut! Sunderland home page and navigating from there