SUNDERLAND AFC fans are the best behaved in the land.
That is the verdict of Barclays Premier League match assessors, who have decided that Black Cats followers conducted themselves best out of all 20 top-flight sides last season.
Supporters scored consistently highly over the course of the 38-game season, with points being gained for good-natured verbal support and recognising outstanding play by opposition teams.
The honour has come with a £20,000 jackpot, which chairman Niall Quinn says the club will put towards something suggested by fans.
He said: “Sunderland fans are known for their passion and commitment and the lengths they’ll go in order to support their team.
“It’s great that they’re now also getting recognition for their spirit and respect of the game too.”
He added: “They’re the reason I fell in love with the club.
“We have averaged more than 40,000 fans per match at the Stadium of Light over the course of the season, and enjoy tremendous support away from home too.
“So this is a fantastic achievement when you factor in how many people follow the club week in, week out.
“The £20,000 we receive is obviously on behalf of all our supporters, so we would welcome any thoughts on how this could best be spent for their benefit.”
Ideas from fans have so far included putting the amount towards the club’s official charity, the SAFC Foundation, or on crowd-surfing flags which can be passed around the ground before kick off.
As part of the assessment into the behaviour of fans, each club begins a Premier League game with five assessment points out of 10, with the chance to gain or lose five.
Points are lost for abusing of officials, bad language and aggressive conduct towards opposition fans.
The club are inviting supporters to email suggestions as to how the prize money should be spent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
l What would you like to see the cash spent on? Email email@example.com.
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