Chris Coleman is close to completing the job of taking Sunderland back to the third tier of English football.

With only four games remaining and six points from safety (seven if Barnsley win their game in hand), the situation is hopeless.

As though things couldn’t get worse, on Tuesday night Sunderland took the surprising decision to close all cash turnstiles and make Sunderland fans prove they had been to previous games before they’d be allowed to buy a ticket.

A tragic end to what has been a tragic season, when they have over thirty thousand empty seats every home match these days.

Chris Coleman says he supports the moves to make it more difficult for fans to get in the stadium – Sky Sports reporting earlier today that ‘A significant number of Newcastle fans’ had tried to get into the Norwich game.

Coleman says that actually Newcastle fans have been great with him and want to see them back up into the Premier League so the derby matches return.

Though his claims that Newcastle supporters ‘don’t want to see us suffer’ might be stretching the truth a little bit.

Chris Coleman:

“I totally see the security side of it and we have to listen to the police.

“So I do totally understand why we have done that [closed cash turnstiles and only allowing Sunderland fans to buy tickets if have purchase history].

“Don’t get me wrong.

“I do want to the see the stadium with as many Sunderland people in there as we can fit…but I do also get why the club have come to that decision.

“You are always going to get one team laughing at another, especially if it’s two derby teams.

“But all the Newcastle fans that I have bumped into are absolutely fabulous with me and they don’t want to see us suffer.

“All the proper Newcastle fans have been fantastic.

“In any industry there’s a small, unsavoury percentage.

“The ones I have spoken to want to see us back up there because they want to play against us.”

  • Paul Patterson

    I can imagine this to be true. I think he’s a genius. Long may it continue.

    • Kev Newcastle England

      I find it surprising there are Toon fans on here maybe over 50 years old? who have not been to away derbies at either of SAFC grounds.To me its unthinkable not to have been.No excuses work commitments etc blah blah,shy*e.

  • Geordie Pete Moore

    Does it make me unsavoury if I would be the happiest man to see the Mackems gan doon this season again ? I don’t think so, Like King Kev said I WOULD LOVE IT !!

    • Clarko

      Using the phrase “gan doon” makes you unsavoury.

      • Magic mick

        What makes him unsavoury for saying gan doon like? Your obviously a southern fairy

        • East Durham Mag

          Somebody lives in a fantasy world mate.

        • Clarko



          • TheNutJob


          • Magic mick

            Soz ey grammar police

    • Mike


  • ghostrider

    One premier league club left in the region. One last fish in the barrel.
    It’s amazing how the elites can make human beings act like animals in their snarling hatred of their neighbours over football that goes from banter to snarling rage on both sides.
    No more bragging rights to be had because there’s no level ground anymore.
    The north east against the south or west or midlands, eh?…..nahhhhhh, let’s hate each other because it suits the elites.

    It could be worse, we could be one city housing two teams like Liverpool and Everton or Man City and Man Utd.
    Imagine dividing a city or basically fragmenting it.

    “Hi mate I’ll take your bin out with mine”…..” No you won’t, you’re a blue and I’m a red so do one you scally.”

    And so on.
    But, like Coleman said, it’s not all, it’s just a portion in reality but the pied pipers of hate can have massive influence on the following baying crowds on either side because some people are too weak minded and easily led and just want to feel like they’re somebody.

    “But ghostrider you’re not a real Newcastle fan if you aren’t brought up to hate Sunderland.”

    You know what I say to that?


    • Tony Mann

      Brought up in Jarrow – my late Mum, Brother and sister were / are Mackems, Dad, other brother and myself are mags. My mates were split 50/50 between us and ‘them’ so derby day was always lively.
      A lot of mickey taking and bragging rights to whoever but there was never any hate.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Sunderland fans are nearly extinct round our parts which is good to see. When I grew up in the sixties and seventies there used to be a coach leave the Avenue pub, a couple from Blyth, Morpeth and Ashington. Think they down to one bus and a mini bus from north of the river. That’s where the hatred comes from as most of our areas are not split like Jarrow and Hebburn. Most people over our way have never come across Sunderland fans.

        • Scott Robinson

          Even today you’d get a hiding if you wore a Sunderland top in North Shields. You wouldn’t wear one in Blyth either! The real Newcastle fans are north of the Tyne as we have no distractions and you had to build a tunnel and a bridge to link us with the southern towns who have a small mix of mackems which increases as you move south from Gateshead!
          Imagine moving a little south of Newcastle: ‘the good news is we’ve found a local school for your children; the bad news is that it’s local to Sunderland’

          • Jezza

            Are you saying those of us who grew on the South side of the Tyne are not real Newcastle fans?

        • colin marr

          yeah good post I’m a Hebbin lad me sell, saw a bus picking up mackems in Ellington village a few years back, don’t know if there’s many going now,

        • Wor Lass

          There used to be one from N Shields in the mid 70`s. The Coburg was my local for a while and a crowd of them used to meet up in there. It was good craic before and after the match.

      • Jezza

        My background was very similar. I gew up not far from Jarrow amongst both sets of supporters. Mickey taking, banter and healthy rivalry are fune but hatred is all wrong. We are all football fans at the end of the day I’m not going to despise somebody for supporting their own team.

    • CaptainCaveman

      That was a bit dramatic. I’ve got mackem mates but I still want them to get relegated. It wasn’t long ago when they were enjoying our demise and the tides will always turn. It’s only banter. It’s natural, people are tribal.

      • ghostrider

        It’s not dramatic mate it’s the truth.
        I’m certainly not saying all fans are rivals and nasty. That’s not what I’m getting at.
        I’m saying that we’re coaxed into a regional divide and the general consensus when among peers is to follow the leader type of thing.

        The truth is, it’s much more humble than that when people are taken away from the hype.
        As for seeing their demise as banter….yeah and no, because the reality is for most is the excitement of a regular derby game for bragging rights.
        In this situation there are none.

        • Wor Lass

          You may be shocked to hear that I completely agree with that post!

          • ghostrider

            Not shocked at all. I’m sure you’ll argue or agree whenever it fits,just as I will.

    • Mark Potter

      Course you weren’t brought up to hate Sunderland, since you come from South Durham (nearly Hartlepool). So while I wouldn’t say you are not a real Newcastle fan, I would question if you are a real Geordie. It’s in the soul.

      But I take exception of describing us “like animals in their snarling hatred of their neighbours over football”. I don’t hate my sister and nephews for supporting Sunderland. But they are sadly deluded, and I have to be careful around them in case I catch a nasty disease. But I hate the large town of Sunderland, think the Queen made the biggest mistake of her great life declaring such a sorry place as a city. I avoid it like the plague, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to see Coldplay in their pink seated stadium a few years back.

      If they get relegated again, and I hope they do, I will be celebrating. I don’t care what Coleman thinks. I don’t care if it means the demise of their club. Administration and a fall into the fourth tier is a possibility. Oh, how sweet that would be :)

      Then the children of Geordies in Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn might not be trapped by the misguided notion that SAFC is a football club. They will know there is only one place in the North East where you can watch decent football, they will grow up to support the Toon, as is good and proper. We can pass a better world to our children and grandchildren.

      That’s my ambition for the North East, that we can finally rid ourselves of the centuries of disease, poverty, discrimination, and evil in the region, by ridding the area of the font of all that is bad. The tumour needs to be cut out, if we are to overcome the cancer eating away at the region, otherwise known as SAFC.

      But I don’t hate the people. It’s for their own good that they feel the pain of loss of their club. They will eventually learn to live without it. In a few generations they might educate themselves better and have the occasional wash.

      And yeah, I’m joking, a bit, except about celebrating their relegation. And the Queen making it a city. What on earth were you thinking, Your Majesty?

      • Jonathan Drape-Comyn

        I actually found that coming from Durham, going to school in Durham, having your best mates being Sunderland fans, playing football for Sunderland, having mackems live next door to you (and the door after that, and the door after that) you actually learn to hate Sunderland more than some.

        My Dad is from Walker, and well he’s not really bothered about Sunderland.

        So in some instances, coming from Durham, you’re more likely to hate Sunderland even more.

        • East Durham Mag

          Spot on. Lots of my mates are Mackems and we banter, they are mates and i wouldn’t wish to fall out. However i hate SAFC and want it to implode asap. The plane, the banners and all the slavver was worth taking to get to the situation they find themselves in now.

        • Steven05

          I live in South Shields, work full time in Newcastle. I think it might be easier to not care about sunderland if you are completely surrounded by Newcastle fans. I have some good friends who are sunderland fans (not mackems), but I will enjoy it if/when they go down again

      • ghostrider

        I actually enjoyed your post in the amusing way it was set out.
        However, I do know there’s a mindset of you not caring one iota what happens to Sunderland and that’s fair enough if that’s your way.
        I can get by without them as we all can but that isn’t the point I was making….but anyway.

        As for me being a Geordie…I’m not in any way shape or form a Geordie and I have no more affiliation with Geordies than Sunderland or Darlington or Middlesbrough, etc, etc.
        In fact if the truth be known I don’t particularly think Newcastle people are any better than any other but that’s open for debate.

        My allegiance is to Newcastle United football club as has been for life in terms of knowing the game that is football and being a fan.
        By you saying it’s in the soul, it’s more in the soul of me than it is you but we can argue this point if you wish.

        Why do I say that?
        My argument is, I wasn’t coaxed by anyone into supporting Newcastle United. I wasn’t brought up as a ritual to have to be a Newcastle United fan like many people that class themselves as “Geordies” have.
        Nobody in my family were Newcastle fans.
        One was Middlesbrough and the rest were Hartlepool by proximity most likely.
        The girls were into any team with the best looking players.

        My own kids and wife and dog are all Newcastle United fans.
        Was that down to me?
        Of course it was.
        Their religion in my church of Newcastle, maybe. Their soul?
        Actually my wife pretends she likes it all but she doesn’t care one jot…she just likes to see us happy so she goes along with the “yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy” or the ” ohhhhhhh, never mind, maybe next week eh” when we win or lose or draw.

        The kids at the time?…..I brainwashed them and they simply followed their dad out of a sense of allegiance.

        You know how it works.

        You could argue that football is a religion on that note.
        For me it became my love of Newcastle United football club as a stand alone club among as many tenants throughout my time.

        I have no more time for a Newcastle person than a Sunderland person or any other.
        By % or pound for pound there’s no difference apart from material set up of cities.

        As for describing people as animals….we are all animals and generally domesticated/tame until this stuff happens…which is my whole point.

        Anyway take the reply in its lighthearted form because that’s how it’s written.

        • Mark Potter

          The “you’re not a true Geordie” was part of the light hearted side, absolutely. You can’t hate family, friends, workmates, over football. But the rivalry is probably more keenly felt where I was brought up (South Shields, Jarrow) and now live (Durham) where there’s lots of supporters for both clubs.

          My first time seeing Newcastle was actually at Roker Park. I was there in the old First Division when Keegan’s team leading the Division played the derby. Andy O’Brien over the wall. Their keeper doing an impression of the “statue” people, glanced round at the ball in the back of his net and wondered, how did that get there? Half the main stand jumped to their feet to celebrate, it was full of Geordies. My mate was a Sunderland fanatic, and took me along. He couldn’t speak to anyone for days afterwards. And I was hooked on following the Toon.

          For me this changed when we missed out on winning the Premiership. The Mackems I knew were celebrating every time we dropped points. They won the Championship that season (before yo-yo’ing back down) and were full of themselves that they had been more successful. Up to that point, I never understood why anyone would bother with the anti-Mackem chants at the matches. Most people I knew even if they weren’t Sunderland fans still cheered them on in 1973, and thought it was good for the region.

          My old uncle told me before he died that many people living in South Shields, Jarrow, Boldon and Hebburn areas in the 1950s would go to Roker Park one week, St James the next. There wasn’t hatred. in those days. But then there wasn’t football hooliganism either.

          • ghostrider

            Nice post.
            It’s like a school gang mentality of ” let’s go and fight the other school”…
            It’s obviously silly but it’s back down to the pied pipers that instigate it all.
            The few can control the many at any time.

            Like you mention with rivalry. It was rivalry and banter but a general understanding among the many of it being nothing more than that.

            Tease the mind of a bovver boot boy and you tease the minds of the bovver boot followers on each side which creates the nonsense it becomes.

            Weak minds and easy leading.

          • Tony Mann

            School gang mentality struck a chord – I went to St Josephs in Hebburn which backed onto St James school so everybody knew everyone else.
            Occasional fisticuffs threatened across the play ground never actually came to anything until we were drawn in some footy cup competition in the 3rd year (think it’s now classed as year 9).
            It was mayhem when we won – witnessed by a crowd of 300 to 400.
            Very nasty match for 14 year olds – we had a player sent off which was unheard of then.
            The day after, I was playing footy in the park with the same lads who wanted to give me a good leathering the day before.
            It’s only down to allegiances.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Liam Obrien over the wall

  • Mike

    He is doing a great job

  • Grahame Johnson

    Nowt rang with gan doon, I’m ganning to the match on sunday

  • Mayor Vaughn

    I can honestly say i couldn’t give two f***s if we never see them ever again. Nothing to do with six in a row i’ve seen us beat them far more than i’ve seen them beat us i just can’t stand them never could never will. Their club their fans their town has literally no redeeming features.
    Good riddance, please don’t come back.

    • kingfisher

      Spot on Mayor. I used to work for a building maintenance company and had to travel to “The Dark Side” from Newcastle on many occasions. Always felt great coming over the Bridge on the way home, horrible place !

    • Jezza

      I disagree. We need North East clubs to survive and prosper. Our region has always been the most passionate football hotbed in the country but now it is rapidly becoming a footballing wilderness and that is in nobody’s interest in this part of the world. Do you really want to see top class football dominated by London and South Lancashire with the North East just a forlorn irrelevent outpost of English football?

      • Mayor Vaughn

        I see where your coming from, but personally i won’t miss them for a second and north east football begins and ends with NUFC for me.

  • Scottie Chugger Dearden

    If I’m honest I remember their ‘Rafa Beneathus’ and ‘Auf Wiedersein Tyne to go’ banners when we went down, so to see them slip further does bring a little smile to my face however I agree with him about wanting to play them without them we wouldn’t have great chants like ‘Andy O’Brien, Liam O’Brien……’ watching Kev Nolan whacking three past them and seeing Titus getting sent off is one of the most memorable and happiest games I have seen and the way things are going now if we were to meet them we would beat them!

  • Peaky

    Been to SOL twice…..Coldplay then Springsteen…..that’ll do me thanks.

    • colin marr

      went to Glasgow to see Springsteen rather than help the mackems,

      • Peaky

        Wish I had now….I’ll know the next time….great concert but it pi*sed down all night… in the Midlands now so will have a much better choice of venue…saw U2 at Glasgow mind gig I’ve ever been to.

        • Wor Lass

          Saw them in Manchester – Elevation tour. fantastic. The best I`ve been to recently was Jake Bugg. What a talent.

          • Peaky

            Saw The Killers at Manchester in November….superb.
            Got Paul Simon & Billy Joel tickets for next month..both at Manchester….

      • Jezza

        You wouldn’t have been giving any money to SAFC. Your ticket money for a gig goes to the promoter and the artist. None of it goes to the venue. The promoter hires the hosting venue who receive exactly the same ammount of money regardless of how many tickets are sold for the gig.

        • colin marr

          Jezza. I didn’t go to the sol on principle. not wanting to set foot in the place, I didn’t want to give a long winded explanation, I know the financial situation regarding gigs and hiring venues, I’ve been informed it rained incessantly at sol.
          well I’ve had glorious weather in Glasgow twice seeing “the boss.

    • Leazes.

      Saw him at SJP along with Carlos,

      • Peaky

        I was there as well….mid eighties sometime wasn’t it ?

        • Leazes.


          • Peaky

            Still brilliant….the Ken Dodd of music…you just cannot get him off the stage.

          • Leazes.

            Wouldn’t have put it like that myself.

          • Wor Lass

            I`ve never seen him with a Tickling Stick!

          • Peaky

            “Born To Run”….with a tickling stick just doesn’t quite feel right somehow

          • Wor Lass

            Born in Notty Ash doesn`t quite cut it either!

          • Paul Patterson

            Diddy do ‘Dancing In The Dark?’

          • Peaky

            I’ll get your coat for you….are you there all week…

        • Peter Graham

          1985. Two nights

          • Peaky


    • Wor Lass

      I saw the Boss at the City Hall in 1981 – he was unbelievable. The best gig I`ve ever been to bar none! My mate got a shock and almost a cheap thrill when a groupie that had snuck in and hidden under the seats burst out from between his legs as soon as the lights went down. Ha ha – couldn`t make it up!!

      • Peaky


        • Wor Lass

          It was as good as his night got.

    • Paul Patterson

      Oasis for me. 2005 I think it was.

    • Jezza

      Never been to SOL but I did go to Roker Park no end of times.

  • kingfisher

    I’ve never been to either Joker Park or The Stadium of Sh**e. When ever I cross the water I get a nose bleed and the shakes, even in fur king Gateshead. I’m more than happy to stay in North Tyneside and just happily gloat at their predicament.
    I would never say I hate Sunderland or their supporters, as hate is a very strong feeling, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want them to implode and work their way steadily down the Leagues.
    Surely for the Mackem fans that would be a good thing, as they would be able to see their heroes play in some footballing backwater on a mud patch for a couple of quid!
    SUNDERLAND: The team that just keeps on giving !!

    • Jezza

      Did you really never go to a Derby at Roker Park?

      • kingfisher

        No Jezz, never been to a derby at Roker. Not sure why all these years later.Possibly work commitments, family holidays etc.

        • Jezza

          Fair enough. The atmosphere was always great in the Roker End packed out with Newcastle fans. When I was young and living in Boldon I always used to walk the 3 miles to the Derby games at Roker Park. I wonder how many fans can ever say they’ve walked to an away game!

          • Dillon Tovak

            I have, last year. (I live 2 mins walk from Ashton Gate) 😂

          • Jezza

            Excellent. I’ve done it at three away grounds that I can think of. As well as Roker Park, there were two friendlies at Hearts in 1987 and 1992 when I was living in Edinburgh and in more recent times three games at Doncaster Rovers in 2008, 2010 and 2016.

          • kingfisher

            Aye Jezza,I’ve never heard that before, walking to an away match! I wonder what percentage of Boldon were Newcastle /Sunderland fans,mainly Mackems I suspect? I always assumed that you lived or were brought up in the Ashington/Newbiggin area as you regularly call people Marra. I wonder what the Arsenal fans would think of being called Marra ? 😁

          • Jezza

            When I was growing up in Boldon in the 70’s we were definitely outnumbered by Sunderland fans by about 3 to 1. I don’t know what it’s like there now as I moved away in 1983 but I imagine the split might be a bit more even now after the good years we had under King Kev in the 90’s. I couldn’t quite say exactly where I picked up the word marra from but I definitely did hear it used a few times in Boldon back in my early days and also used to hear it quite a bit at St James’s Park too.

          • Leazes.

            I walked to Wimbledon’s Plough Lane to see us play…. twas the one with the Vinnie Jones famous photograph.

          • Jezza

            By contrast I made an 800 mile round trip to that one as I was living in Edinburgh at the time. I never actually spotted the infamous ball groping incident during the match, it was only later when the photos appeared that I became aware of it.

      • Rich Lawson

        Mint, when I was a callow youth I just wanted to see 1st division football as often as possible and would alternate when we were away by going to Roker and paying into The Fulwell,used to enjoy watching Monty,Colin Todd etc.Coleman seems a nice bloke,just don’t get why he took the job which always looked doomed when presumably he could have gone into the Prem’ if he’d hung on ?

        • Jezza

          When Newcastle weren’t playing I often used to go to Roker Park just to see a game of football, even when I was living up in Edinburgh. I’m not ashamed to admit that.

          I have to say I was also mystified by Coleman’s decision to leave Wales for a team in Sunderland’s position.

          • Mayor Vaughn

            Been to two derbies at Roker and we won them both, two of the greatest days of my life.

  • Andy Mac

    “Only a small percentage of Newcastle fans are ‘unsavoury”

    Whereas most of the makems are 100% obnoxious !

  • Ba ba.

    I hope the suffer as a club for a very long time

  • Graham Chapman

    There’s a world of difference from “hate” “dislike” and “disinterested” I”ll have a giggle when they go down again, but to even contemplate going there is simply making us as bad as them. I had a great time when I went there for the first time, I thought that Bon Jovi put a great set on hahahaha

    • Paul Patterson

      I think they’re ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ at the minute . .

  • gallowgate26

    Well I’ll take little pleasure in them going down to League 1. Us staying up and them going down again has basically put 5years at least between the derbies. I would love to play them and win 3-0 etc. start the process of putting the ‘six in a row’ to bed, Well that can’t happen if they are two leagues below us! I know a Sunderland fan who says ‘we are still undefeated against you’ haha they will cling to that for the next 20 years if they have to, it’s all they’ve got left. Until we play and beat them 2-3 times it will be like an unhealed wound!

  • shellington

    Chris is doing a fabulous job, if I met him down the pub I’d warmly shake his hand and buy him a drink. Only 5 more divisions to go and we see Sunderland take their rightful place in Northern league division 2.

  • Vincent Gigante

    Hilariously I’ve just read that they have been doing a behind the scenes documentary all season which if it’s even half as funny as premier passions will give new definintioto Laugh Out Loud

  • Albert Stubbins

    Welcome to the north east Chris. Close the door on your way oot!!