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Sunderland: We Know How You Feel

Newcastle has had its run of bad luck as well.

Sunderland v Manchester United - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

I wrestled with writing this article. Do I do it, and risk Sunderland fans calling me out for clickbait? What about the Newcastle fans who ardently hate Sunderland to the ends of earth?

To be honest, some of the things that I’ve read from Newcastle United fans is disgusting, regarding Sunderland. They actively root for the club’s demise. And I could never do that. As a huge Eagles fan, I absolutely hate the Dallas Cowboys. But if the Cowboys were to fold and no longer exist, I’d be upset. I like those games. I live for those games where I can watch my Eagles play amazing football against the Cowboys.

The same goes for Sunderland. I don’t wish any ill on the team. I want them to bounce back and meet us again in the Premier League. I want us to beat them on the pitch, not kick them when they’re down. And what fun is a rivalry if you can’t revel in your team’s victories over them? Or hate the team more after your defeats?

I like to think Sunderland fans thought the same thing when we got relegated to the Championship two seasons ago. Because football isn’t about gloating about another team’s failures, and it’s certainly not basking in the hardships of other fans.

And the thing is, Newcastle fans need to understand that where Sunderland is isn’t very far from where we would be if we didn’t have Rafa Benitez. Our ownership is absolutely terrible. To the point where sometimes we don’t deserve Premier League status. Our ownership has done just enough to keep us alive in the Premier League and get us back up from the Championship. That’s not a life to live.

Sunderland is struggling with one of the worst owners I’ve ever seen. It’s the sign of ultimate defeat when you’re prepared to give your team away for free as long as the new owner takes on all the debts. Ellis Short has given up, and shame on him for giving up on a storied club that has brought so much joy to its fans.

Any owner, unwilling to give everything to the fans of the club they own is not worthy of owning a football club. Anyone willing to take, but not give back, does not understand the history of football, and the joy that it brings to the millions of fans the club has, and the billions of football fans worldwide.

I wish one day, that Sunderland will meet us again, because a rivalry that isn’t on the pitch doesn’t feel like a rivalry. Here’s to one day that we can all hate one another in the confines of St. James, or the Stadium of Light. Because that is where we both belong.