Stop Press Update: there’s a lively debate at Ready to Go’s Pure Football forum after someone posted a link to Wrinkly Pete’s piece – http://www.readytogo.net/smb/threads/sault-taking-a-pop-at-the-fans.1295474/
Here’s something to take minds off wretched news from Out West. The e-mail from Peter Lynn – Wrinkly Pete to us – read: ‘I don’t always agree with Malcolm Dawson but his comments in the thread on one of the Bournemouth game articles struck a chord and prompted me to get this off my chest.’ He’s thinking of the new aggression detected from a section of our generally magnificent support towards our own players. We’ve all witnessed it and, while it should not be exaggerated, it is an issue worth discussing …
Mrs Wrinkly and I have been celebrating our Golden Wedding year which has mercifully prevented me from watching much of this season’s Sunderland football woes. So far I have attended only the Stoke and West Ham away games and Arsenal at home.
What has bothered me more than the performances of our players is the performances of some of our fans.
I don’t use the word performance with regard to these “fans” lightly nor are the italics a typing error.
Watching the antics of one in particular belting out “we’re f—ing s—e”, in the direction of the Stoke home fans, filled me with disgust but – somehow worse than that – dismay. Presumably he was one of many who felt it appropriate to boo our players from the pitch at half time. The same things happened at the Arsenal game.
Now, as I stated at the start of this article, I have not suffered as much as some this season but I think I am entitled to put my point of view.
Over the years I have been privileged to witness at first hand the superb support that our fans give to the team, especially away from home. I have written to that effect on this website, particularly fine examples that spring to mind were at Hull City in November 2013 when we were reduced to nine men and at Old Trafford in the Capital One cup semi-final.
It seems to me that these so called supporters perhaps belong to a type of person who thinks:
“I’ve paid my money and I’ll do what I like.”
The same selfish logic seems to be applied to standing in seated areas with no regard for people behind, including children. Similarly, and more worryingly, the discharging of a flare on the concourse below our fans at the same Stoke game.
Sadly, I don’t have an answer to this negative trend other than speaking up in the hope that decent, proper, fans might try to bring a stop to the negativity.
Anyone, in any walk of life, will have personally experienced the differing effects of praise and criticism. I would simply ask this. If at some point, during a game, you cannot bring yourself to praise our players, just remain silent.
Keep the Faith.