Fan Letters: “Ballard’s arrival is a real statement – let’s trust the recruiting team!”


Dear Roker Report,

The signing of Dan Ballard should hopefully silence naysayers who have no faith in the club’s recruitment team and think they know better.

It’s a sign that we’re heading in the right direction and investing in the best young talent available to us. Ballard has proven himself at this level and was courted by recently relegated Premier League side Burnley, who he would have signed for last week had it not been for price issues.

Top work Mr Speakman and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, and more, thank you!

John Clennell.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi, John, and thank you for your letter.

I totally agree that Ballard’s arrival is a very positive and encouraging affair. He has a very good reputation and, having twice captained Arsenal to an FA Youth Cup final, it would appear he also has superb leadership credentials.

The fact that we beat competition from rival clubs for his signature is significant, and it shows that we are a very attractive prospect for young players.

Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images


Dear Roker Report,

I can’t believe the ridiculous opposition to gambling fermented by your article.

Just because a small minority of people are too weak in spirit or character to resist excessive gambling doesn’t mean the majority should be deprived of the pleasure of a bit of floating.

For many it is an additional factor in their enjoyment and involvement in a sport or team.

The type of players your outraged contributors describe would always find ways to ruin themselves financially, regardless of the name of the sponsor appearing on the team jersey.

Perhaps these social puritans would be better served advocating complete bans on fans traveling to matches by motorized transport, in the name of saving the planet? Exercise would definitely stimulate their appetite and thirst.

This brings me to the issue of fast food for sale both outside and inside the ground itself, which is far more harmful than gambling. Also, let’s ban alcohol while we here we are – I’m sure the “puritans” will like this.

The “perpetually outraged” in society are always looking for ways to spoil the fun of others. Please just take a chill pill, shut up and enjoy the football.

Chris Salmon (a Rovers fan – glad you’re back)

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi Chris. Please keep in touch.

The issue of gambling sponsorships in football is complex and sensitive, and we have attempted to offer a balanced view and provide a platform for different opinions from our team of editors.

The point you make about the fun of the occasional bet is valid, but there is no doubt that it can quickly spiral out of control, and the wall-to-wall advertising of football betting companies can certainly drive people into bad behavior and destroyers. habits.

The main problem with the glamorous and eye-catching nature of these betting advertisements is the possibility that they attract impressionable young fans into the betting world, and run the risk of creating a habit that can be very hard to break.

The old adage “when the fun stops, stops” may seem simple and easy to put into practice, but not everyone has strong self-discipline, and that’s something we’ve tried to highlight and develop.

Fleetwood Town v Oxford United - Sky Bet League One

Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus


Dear Roker Report,

Strongly against on this one.

Personally, I would ban all gambling ads, as they are definitely not something SAFC should have anything to do with.

Ken Renoldson.

Ed’s Note [Phil]: Hi Ken.

Personally, I have mixed opinions about our ties to gambling advertisements and sponsorships. I don’t play myself, but I appreciate that a lot of people see it as a source of excitement and a way to brighten up the game experience.

Sunderland are certainly not alone in associating themselves with such ventures (as a look at many EFL football shirts will show), but it’s easy to see why emblazoned our home shirt with the logo of a betting company can divide opinion. It’s a tough balancing act, no doubt.


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