Police investigating after Sunderland fans had objects thrown at them during Coventry game – The Northern Echo

Police investigating after Sunderland fans had objects thrown at them during Coventry game - The Northern Echo

Sunderland AFC owner Stewart Donald distraught as angry fans say bottles, coins and flares were thrown at them by rival Coventry City supporters at Stadium of Light

Following the match on social media Black Cats supporters have said they saw a number of items being thrown at them from the away supporters section of the ground, which is the upper area of the North Stand.

Independent fan group The Red and White Army has also said it aware of complains from fans about what happened.

SAFC chairman Stewart Donald said on Twitter he is “distraught” at what SAFC supporters appeared to be subjected to.

“We’ve been in conversations with people on that and I’m like a football fan in that, as a board we have a responsibility and if the revenue is good, then my gut instinct is that we should do it but again there are certain brands you wouldn’t want attached.

Sunderland owner Stewart Donald gives update on stadium naming rights, kit deal & badge change

“I am distraught our fans appeared to be subjected to what I think I saw and if so is completely unacceptable.

“The only thing I have said is ‘that carry on with the negotiations guys and when it comes to the critical stage, check with the fan groups and just get the feedback, then we’ll see what the groundswell of opinion is.

On the Ready To Go message board, one poster wrote: “They were disgusting, flares, bottles, coins and even the odd sarnie.”

“The other thing with it is, you want it to try and sound right. You don’t want to sell your soul for the wrong amount of money and have a name that for a football fan is embarrassing.

Share Share Sunderland owner Stewart Donald gives update on stadium naming rights, kit deal & badge change tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Sunderland AFC The newest edition of the Roker Rapport podcast will be available soon, and todays episode features the return of Sunderland owner Stewart Donald.

Police arrest eight people as they investigate disorder at Sunderland v Coventry City match at Stadium of Light

Full details of how to listen can be found below but during his appearance on the show, Donald discussed a topic that has been in the news recently, the possibility of selling the naming rights to the Stadium of Light.

Methven and Donald have both denied national reports that talks were being held with a betting company, the identity of the company they are speaking with is yet to be revealed.

Stunned skipper George Honeyman has this message for Sunderland support after Coventry shock

Sunderlands chairman said that selling the naming rights is an opportunity but made sure to point out that the name has to fit, as it would not be right to sell your soul only to end up with an embarrassing name:

A number of Sunderland fans have said they saw items including bottles, coins and even flares being thrown into the lower area of the North Stand of the stadium from the upper section of the stand which housed away supporters.

I think the stadium naming is an opportunity. Weve been in conversations with people on that and Im like a football fan in that, as a board we have a responsibility and if the revenue is good, then my gut instinct is that we should do it but again there are certain brands you wouldnt want attached.

The other thing with it is, you want it to try and sound right. You dont want to sell your soul for the wrong amount of money and have a name that for a football fan is embarrassing.

A report in a national newspaper last week claimed that a betting company was in the running, something that Donald denied:

I saw in The Sun, it said were talking to a betting firm. As far as I know – although I am not directly involved in that, obviously the numbers come to me and they say weve got this offer – but I dont think a betting company has ever come across my desk for the Stadium of Light naming rights.

A spokesperson for Sunderland AFC said that several fans were injured after being hit by items or had property damaged at the game.

I dont think any betting company has shown an interest and we would have a dilemma there in the sense that if the fans dont want a betting name associated with the stadium and the offer was really good, it would give us a decision to make. But we havent got that decision to make and the people we are talking to arent in that industry.

Video footage has also emerged on social media which it is claimed shows Sunderland and Coventry City fans fighting in a pub.

He added that, to avoid a possible excessively lengthy name, any decision will be ran by the Sunderland fan groups to ensure that the majority will be happy with the final decision:

If you keep Stadium of Light in the name, you dont want a 15 word stadium, so its just got to have balance. The only thing I have said is that carry on with the negotiations guys and when it comes to the critical stage, check with the fan groups and just get the feedback, then well see what the groundswell of opinion is.

Sunderland found themselves 3-1 down after just 25 minutes, the Black Cats constantly cut open by a rampant City side before a spirited fightback only to lose 12 minutes from time.

If 95% of fans say not a chance, we dont want it, were selling our soul and the moneys not fantastic, then you go no, I wont do it. The other end of the spectrum is if that nobody really minds and the money is good, then lets do it.

Sunderland lost 5-4 at home to the Sky Blues, losing their unbeaten league record in the process of a defeat that has dented automatic promotion hopes.

Sunderland v Coventry: Fans tell radio phone-in of missile throwing inside and violence outside ground

I think its an asset that we should explore and weve got to try and get maximum value from it and I think weve also got to bear in mind the groundswell of opinion of the fans and take into account what they may or may not want the stadium called.

Changing the badge is quite expensive and we could sign a striker for that. I might be wrong here but I dont think there is a huge swell to change the badge.

Honeyman told the club website: We were in a bit of shock after that game, I have nothing to compare that game of football to really.

If we change the badge its going to upset half the fans probably and not the others, so why spend a few hundred thousand pounds changing it, so I dont think well change the badge.

Donald also shed light on the latest situation regarding the club kit. Adidas are in the last year of their deal with Sunderland and the club are in talks with half a dozen kit providers but Adidas may still remain as the clubs official kit supplier due to a clause in their contract that allows them to match the best offer:

He tweeted: Up the Blues with mind blown emojis after a tweet recording of Pompey fans chanting his name on Saturday. He also added in response to Coventrys great win: Wow, crazy, crazy game.

So what were doing now is were talking to half a dozen kit sponsors who have expressed an interest and the good news is theres a big desire from some of these people. A bigger desire than theres been for quite some time, to be our kit provider.

That has now put automatic promotion back in Pompeys hands after the big victory against Rochdale.

I think in the Adidas deal, I think – and I might be wrong – but somebody mentioned me off the club that Adidas have the right to match our best offer. So it may end up being Adidas on the basis of they do that but we are in negotiations now and conversations with the kit providers and well sign a deal over the next few weeks I would imagine, when all the tendering comes in and the bartering, then well decide who it is and then well obviously go on to kit design.

Finally, Donald hopes to allow the fans a say in the design of the new kit, regardless of who the kit supplier is:

My view of it is that the kit provider that the club will choose because its a commercial deal and we need to get the best commercial rate. The kit design, I think the fans should choose, I would throw that out there, thats my personal view but well have to discuss it at board level because we havent but I cant see that I am better qualified than 30,000 mackems to decide what our kit should be.

I dont see why we cant throw out four or five different kit designs and say choose one guys and its quite a nice thing to do and its quite interactive. Again, a bit like the seats, it doesnt cost you anything to involve the fans, so you should. Its their team, they buy the shirts! So they should have more input on it than anybody else.

So I think what will happen is that well negotiate, well then say that this is the kit provider and what the length of the deal is and then I would hope that every year we can let the fans choose what the kit should be from a selection.

Sunderland AFC The Roker Rapport podcast with Stewart Donald will be available from 8am today (Sunday, April 13) and you can listen to it as soon as its available by subscribing on iTunes, Acast, Spotify or YouTube, entering Roker Rapport into your nearest search engine or by following us on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).

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