Paul Summerside calls for a back to basics approach even if it takes longer than a season to mount a serious promotion challenge

Paul Summerside was Mr Doom and Gloom last season – as, in our different ways, were most of the rest of us – and eventually went on strike, boycotting the Stadium of Light in protest at David Moyes still being in charge.

After one home draw against broadly similar underachievers, he/we will hardly be proclaiming the return of Good Times. But in a fascinating debate at Salut! Sunderland‘s Facebook pages – join the group* if you haven’t already – he made these cautiously upbeat points. The optimism depends on Simon Grayson getting the proceeds of the Jeremain Lens departure (UPDATE: on reflection a lot less sensible and lucrative than it appeared; just a loan with SAFC receiving only £1.4m – and more – to strengthen his side …



We all know the debt
at the club is crippling, and has to be addressed (if you believe Short/Bain).

That explains the current £38 million transfer profit so far.

However, after the sale of Lens a line has to be drawn. The £4.5m and £70k-a-week wage saving must be given to Simon Grayson to secure his targets, Hugill and Lees especially.

We showed enough on Friday to indicate our season could be good, and with the players Grayson wants, it could even be successful.

Surely Grayson can be given £5m to spend.

If the two/three players he buys/loans get us promotion, or even raises the club’s profile by finishing top six, its peanuts as an investment. A higher profile club can then be sold at a higher price.

[If Grayson is denied the funds] .. as a “businessman”, Short would be making a poor business decision, showing him to be genuinely uninterested in the future of the club or, as many of us believe deepdown, clueless

The big picture this season for me is all about going back to our roots: rebuilding and clearing the decks of mercenaries while financially restructuring and at the same time putting a competitive 11 (16) out every game.

Some would say an impossible task.

But I feel this year is not a write-off and that we will be competitive under Grayson, but may fall short of promotion.

After a good showing and possibly further consolidation, I see next year as our “bounce back” season.

As for this year, it is what it is … a much needed break from a crazy league where money is god.

After all, letting some air out of the balloon maintains its integrity. Blowing it up over and over again will burst it.

Back Grayson!

Paul Summerside

… to which, among a number of important contributions on the state of the club’s finances, Mike Allcock responded with the following:

Oh, he can (and will) be given £5m. I suspect it will be more like £10m when all is said and done. That’s still peanuts compared to the sides challenging for promotion though; that’s money to try to prevent a further relegation, not to get us up again.

… I do think they’re missing a trick, Paul. The Championship isn’t the Premier League; attendance matters financially and if they can invest in a couple of names to give some hope they could push it to 35-37k rather than the ~30 mark and this itself would help the finances even if it doesn’t result in promotion. I just don’t think they will.

The Salut! Sunderland Facebook group


* To join the 730+ people already in the group, you naturally need to be a Facebook user or become one. Then, simply go to this link and follow one-step procedure.

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by – and principally for – supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

2 Responses to “View from the Avenue: a sunnier Summerside outlook” Subscribe

  1. John Mac August 7, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

    “…However, after the sale of Lens a line has to be drawn. The £4.5m …”

    What £4.5m?

  2. Tom, Sunderland August 7, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

    I’d love to join the ‘group’ but don’t use Facebook and never will. Horrible medium! I’ve just got used to e mail in the last few months, is there any way to join in via that? Of course, I would prefer pen paper and a good envelope but even I realise that would be too much to ask……

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