I couldn’t believe how long it took for the Mackems to sell their allocation of tickets for the derby match.

Though there again I did see the comical scenes (apart from the result) at their ground when they played Arsenal in the FA Cup, I found it hard to watch the match against a background of empty seats.

Over 4,000 Arsenal fans had come up for the match meaning only 22,000 mackems were there against that kind of opposition for a place in the last eight!

If by some fluke they got to the final it shouldn’t be too hard working out who should get tickets!

Anyway, back in August I was living on my nerves trying to get a ticket for our match at the dark place, at first you needed 100 ‘loyalty points’ to apply and as it gradually came down it finished on 50 loyalty points, weeks before the match.

Fast forward to the match on 4th March and the mackems have only just managed to sell the last of the allocation for their visit to civilisation.

A mackem ‘mate’ of mine was telling me that in the end sunderland fans needed to be on just 10(!) loyalty points to qualify for a ticket, rumour has it you go to ten points by going to one match with a free ticket and buying some cheesy chips!