A FOOTBALL flags row has today been sorted.
Sunderland AFC had been in dispute with The Fort landlord Alan Wallace over six flags he had on show in the windows of the Roker Terrace pub.
Club bosses had threatened “further” action if Alan did not remove the banners, claiming they implied “a misleading affiliation” between the pub and club, which wanted to protect its “intellectual property”.
However, the controversial move, which sparked derision from many Black Cats supporters, has now been resolved.
The Echo understands the red-and-white flags, which were bought from the SAFC shop, can remain in The Fort’s windows where they have been since July.
Father-of-three Alan has agreed to join the free SAFC rewards scheme, and will offer a 20 per cent discount on selected drinks to season ticket holders, but not on match days.
“The flags are staying up as they backed down,” said the 43-year-old, originally from Hendon.
“It’s our club. I made my point and I got a nice hospitality package as a way of saying sorry.
“I let season ticket holders have 20 per cent discount on drinks.”
He added: “I’d rather we now concentrated on beating Newcastle than petty feuds.”
The Fort, which is more than 100 years old, has been crammed with club memorabilia since loyal supporter Alan took it over five years ago.
Black Cats’ fan Alan, who has been going to matches since he was a toddler, has even added to his collection since the sternly-worded letter arrived, with more flags which he bought from the official club shop.
SAFC declined to comment.
Fans on the Echo website had given their backing to The Fort over the flags row.
Shaggy said: “I was in there last Friday night; it looks great Alan, don’t take the flags down.”
Micheal Mcculley said: “Every time I pass The Fort it makes me smile with pride; keep them up mate.”
Sunderland wrote: “What a load of nonsense from SAFC.
“Fans spend a fortune supporting this club through thick and thin, and to get a letter like this is an insult to the fans.”
Athedley said: “The purpose of a flag or banner is to demonstrate to the world, at large, an allegiance and loyalty to the flag and what it stands for.
“A flag is not an article of clothing such as a shirt or scarf, but an item designed to be placed on public display, on a flag pole, wall, battlements, fence, window or as a decoration.”
Spewc9st1e added: “I can understand the club wanting to protect it’s IP rights etc, but come on, show some common sense in cases like this.
“It’s not like Mr Wallace is deliberately trying to make money from the club’s crest and colours is it?
“All he’s doing is showing his allegiance to the club and trying to create a good atmosphere on match days.
“It’s traditional in this country to do that, hundreds of pubs all over the country do that and have done so for decades.
“If SAFC and other clubs want to lose customers then they are going about it the right way. Pure greed.”