Sunderland start to flag in the run-in – but nerves must not give way to blind panic – Chronicle Live

Sunderland start to flag in the run-in - but nerves must not give way to blind panic - Chronicle Live

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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:

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.

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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