Premier League prestige cannot be underestimated and summer signing BeyoncÃ© is the icing on Sunderland cake
The city of Sunderland is known internationally for a few things; a dwindling list since the demise of the shipyards, Maws Pies and Mary Ann Cotton.
One of the remaining biggies is Nissan; something to shout about but ultimately a Japanese concern.
This leaves us with Kate Adie, the National Glass Centre, half of Eurythmics and that bloke from Millfield who launched the firework from his jacksy on bonfire night a few years ago.
Fine ambassadors all, but topping even them for global profile is Premier League football – and Sunderland are very much part of it.
It’s never difficult to locate an empty-headed sneerer who will denigrate anything that occurs on Wearside; worse still is that we’re talking about people who live here.
Granted, not everyone loves footy. But those who say: “It’s just 22 men kicking a ball about” are frankly too stupid to argue with.
We’re all aware that the fourth bottom finish is hardly the stuff of legend, as well as the fact that virtually any player will leave any club if he thinks there’s a better offer. Nor had it escaped anyone’s notice that footballers, like column writers, are a tad overpaid.
However, none of this detracts from the prestige – and hard cash – that Premier League football brings; cash that is not confined to the coffers of SAFC and its playing staff. Whether you enjoy football or not, the escape from the Championship is to be celebrated.
I am not particularly interested in the music of Beyoncé, but that is irrelevant and I’m convinced the lady in question will overcome this hammer blow. The important thing is that her concert in Sunderland on June 28 is tremendous news for the city.
Yet look at the Echo’s website and read the report from February 8 announcing the concert. Although mainly positive, the comments section below contains no shortage of congenital moaners, decrying the whole enterprise. They’re entitled to their opinions, no matter how ridiculous.
And so it is with the last seven days at Sunderland AFC. Their survival is unalloyed good news for Wearside; this even includes the whinging community who won’t admit this.
Put on your flip-flops and be happy, Sunderland have done it again. The pubs are open, Eurovision is over for another year, the larks are singing, the flowers are out and summer is on its way (scheduled to take place on July 23).
Of course there are ongoing concerns and misgivings.
They are for next week’s column.