Tony Gillan: Now Sunderland is under the scrutiny of Private Eye

Martin Bain
Martin Bain
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The profile of SAFC has been raised a little in the current edition of Private Eye.

Anyone familiar with the magazine will be aware that this is never likely to be in a good way.

A section entitled World of Sport on page 13, beneath a joke about a barbershop called ‘Ead Shearin’, deals with the ongoing round of redundancies at the Stadium of Light.

It states: “Sunderland AFC is trying to improve the way the club is run after years of cock-ups.

“But the latest wheeze is to get rid of the one person at the club who seems capable of winning anything.

“The sports media were quick to note the bad timing of chief executive Martin Bain’s decision that up to 60 staff should be made redundant, coming as it did just days after the faltering team had enjoyed a mid-season trip to New York.

“The timing wasn’t the only problem, though. One of those being made redundant is Rob Mason, the long-running editor of the club’s match-day programme.

“Since Sunderland won promotion nine years ago, Red & White has won or been runner-up in the Programme of the Year awards every season.

“Thus were the failing players treated to a jolly in New York – while a member of staff who actually wins something for the club gets made redundant. Own goal?”

Yes, I’m afraid that this is what Private Eye is reduced to these days. Complete accuracy.

The Eye has only printed what is common knowledge on Wearside.

We will probably never know who alerted them to the story.

In case anyone is wondering, I will swear on the life of your person of choice that it wasn’t me.

More important is that the conduct of the club is coming under national scrutiny once again – and it doesn’t look good.

Fortunately, public relations do not seem to be overly concerning at Sunderland Association Football Club.

So why worry?