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Sunderland fans arguing amongst themselves why half their Wembley fans not going on Saturday

2 years ago

On Wednesday we brought you quite bizarre news about Sunderland fans.

It is their biggest game of the season on Saturday, playing Portsmouth in the promotion play-off semi-final, yet it looked set to be their lowest League One home crowd of the season.

As of late Wednesday, only 20,322 Sunderland fans had bought a ticket (Sunderland have an online running total, showing how many tickets have been sold for any particular match). This despite tickets costing only £20 for adults and £7.50 for kids.

Much was made of over 40,000 Sunderland fans wanting to go for a day out at Wembley (Checkatrade Trophy final) and complaints from their supporters that they should have got even more tickets…

Yet as it stood, half of those Wembley fans couldn’t be bothered to go and support their team in this vital game, surely the biggest of their season. Sunderland have also ensured the crowd is lowered even further, by restricting Portsmouth to only 2,000 tickets, blaming it on incidents that happened in the recent game at the Stadium of Light when the teams met.

All local rivalry aside (honest!), it is all a bit mental.

Have the Sunderland fans finally realised what a set of chancers they now have in charge at the club, or is it simply the poor football and results that have been served up – Sunderland failing to win 24 of their 46 League One matches so far.

Getting promoted this season is surely vital for the health of their club, if they fail to do so then it could/would be a disaster, especially financially. Next season they get their final parachute payments which significantly fall in this the third year (2019/20), with then nothing at all in 2020/21.

With only 24 hours to go, only 22,991 tickets are now showing (at 4.30pm Friday 10 May) as having been bought by Sunderland fans, less than half of their ground’s capacity. That means, only 2,669 tickets sold in the past 48 hours, not exactly suggesting there is a growing momentum/surge on ticket sales.

We thought we’d see what Sunderland fans are saying about it (see below) and turns out there is a bit of a civil war kicking off, between those who think the feeble ticket sales are a disgrace and others who see nothing wrong with supporters giving this game a miss.

Some classic reasons/excuses mentioned as well…tickets too expensive (£20 adults and £7.50 for kids!), it’s on TV, rather go to the pub, 7.30pm on Saturday too late for kids (who aren’t at school the next day), rather watch on TV at home and drink cans, Saturday 7.30pm is terrible time for a game (nearly everybody off work and the next day too…), the team aren’t trying, the football is rubbish, the manager is clueless, the owners are chancers, saving money for Wembley(!) and so on…

Sunderland fans comment via their Ready To Go (to the match unless it is on a Saturday night..) message board:

‘It’s embarrassing, folk on here and twitter saying how great we are, best fans in the land, one more big game whether we’ve been rubbish or not lately and people suddenly want to give up?

Deserve all the stick that will come our way.’

‘No its not embarrassing at all, we are finally sick of the hype put out by the club our football is rubbish but this club think they can continually pull the wool over our eyes, then feed us horse sh.. for entertainment because we are so stupidly loyal.’

‘There’s the simple economics argument as to why the crowd is lower than expected.

For season ticket renewers there has been a payment this month. Most will be around £65.

Add that to the cost of a ticket tomorrow.

Add that to a potential visit to Wembley.’

‘I’ve said my piece. Under 35k is an embarrassment that’s my initial reaction over the last few days.

But it has to be said, it could also be seen as an un-coordinated protest by our supporters, rightly or wrongly.

I’m shocked it’s come to this after the high levels of morale earlier in the season. And I also have to say, completely perplexed. Not seen anything like it amongst our fans.

‘I reckon around 5,000 more tickets would have been sold if it was on the Sunday. 7:30 on a Saturday is unorthodox time to play.’

‘A large chunk of our fans are incredibly apathetic about the club given the dire football and Final league position. Clappers can’t understand.’

‘The league is over and this is now a separate competition. So how can this be our lowest home attendance?’

‘One of the worst excuses I’ve seen so far is “it’s too late to take the kids out”. Which to me translates as ” if I go to the match with the bairns I can’t get pi..ed, so will buy loads of cans and sit in front of the telly”.’

‘That maybe true for older kids but unfair on parents who have younger ones that usually go to bed around 8pm.’

‘Saturday night on the TV and although they won’t admit it plenty would rather spend money getting pi..ed watching it in the pub
and then they’ll be first wanting tickets should we make the final.’

‘There will be a canny chunk of people who won’t put anything before a couple of drinks. They probably won’t admit it, but the match will be getting in the way of drinking time.’

‘It’s a pathetic turnout. Utter sh… and some of excuses are equally sh… Only 1 set of people “bottling” things here and it isnt the players.’

‘It’s going to look awful on the tv like and will get picked up on.

North stand is going to look almost empty.’

‘Not going as would prefer to watch Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.’

‘I’ve just logged onto the seating plan and it looks awful. With the exception of the South Stand, and a few blocks in the East and West, all the lower tier is dead.

Hopefully a couple of thousand extra decide to go and help fill the lower tiers up.’

‘I really hope we get to the final, because the backtracking by some will be hilarious.

Its a shame the crowd is looking poor, but those attending just need to support the players.’

‘Crowd will be directly affected as a result of the garbage of performances procured by Jack Ross. It’s not rocket science.’

‘This low crowd could well be a warning of what to expect next season, should we fail to be promoted.’

‘The relatively ‘low’ crowd for this game is because it is being televised live.’

‘Getting tickets in L29 in North stand, no sitting there, who is joining me???’

The club are lucky to get anywhere near 25k given how terrible they have been this season. Checkatrade finals don’t cut it. 5th in league one is a disgrace.

To expect the fans to turn up in droves once again is laughable. Clappers seem to think everyone is like them.’

‘For all the ‘clappers’ on here, there’s people like you who can’t wait to pi.. on the club they support.’

‘If people are choosing not to go because they have the lip on, then probably best they don’t. No one can force them or guilt them, people have a choice. My choice is to support my team as they’re in the play offs and as it stands, a chance of being promoted. If someone else chooses not to, then nowt I can do about it.’

‘The real myth getting peddled around is that our squad is too good for this level, most of the players people state are too good for this level are the ones that got us here in the first place.’

‘Unreal how many want to judge the season before it’s actually finished.

If all goes to plan, it’ll be one of the greatest ends to a season ever.’

‘I never know why the attendance bothers people that much. We never turn up in front of a full house and I’d rather have 27k supporting the team than an extra 4/5k who turn up every now and again to twist and moan.’

‘Playing a game at 19.30 on a Saturday night is a load of nonsense regardless of the fact its a play off. Nowt the club can do about it though as Sky rule the roost and couldnt give a toss about the supporters, all they care about is how many people will tune in to watch.

Nothing the owners can say or do will improve the attendance, for any event to attract a big audience the event itself has to be attractive to the public and to be blunt watching us lately is soul destroying and has been for years.

I tip my hat to the owners for having a go but all the early promise from the manager to play exciting football has quite frankly proven to be a load of rubbish.

We dont deserve to go up and in my opinion wont go up, a lot of people are obviously thinking like me hence the poor ticket sales.’


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