Sunderland AFC fans revel in 'Sports Direct' mock shop - but annoyed Newcastle fans call them 'obsessed'
Sunderland fans were today accused of being 'obsessed' by rivals Newcastle United after a shop sign was created to mock the Magpies' Premier League plight.
The shop sign - based on the logo of Magpies' owner Mike Ashley's sportswear empire - ridicules angry Toon supporters over their recent protests against their club's owner.
The sign, above a shop in Hylton Road, says 'Pop Up Shout Shop For Sad Newcastle United Fans To Yell And Scream At' in a direct reference to those NUFC fans who have recently taken to protesting outside of the Sports Direct store in Newcastle about Ashley's running of the club. The sign is believed to have been put up a by a businessman.
The sign also hails Sunderland's record-breaking six consecutive Wear-Tyne derby wins and refers to 'horse punchers' after a well-documented incident where one Newcastle fan was jailed for punching a police horse on duty after the Black Cats won at St James' Park in 2013.
Rafa Benitez's side are currently in the top flight's relegation zone and without a win this season.
It is not the first time SAFC fans have decorated shops in an attempt to poke fun at their rivals, with similar shop fronts put up when the Magpies were relegated from the Premier League in 2009. However Newcastle fans working nearby have hit out at the move, claiming that SAFC supporters have little to crow about at present with the Black Cats currently two leagues below in League One.
A Newcastle United-supporting woman who runs a shop near to the store said: "I think whoever has done it is a bit obsessed to be honest.
"If it makes them happy I suppose that's great but I just don't think it's that funny.
"I don't think Sunderland fans are in any position to laugh at Newcastle right now.
"But I don't dislike Sunderland at all.
"There was another shop done near here when Newcastle got relegated before saying they'd be selling all players for £1 which I thought was quite funny.
"This isn't very appropriate when you've got children walking past seeing the word "scum".
"It's just name-calling and I don't think it's on."
Elaine Rogers, who runs Avenue sandwich shop next door to the shop front, said: "I've been here for nine years and the place used to be a pram shop but it closed about seven years ago.
"A few people have seen it but not as many as you'd think because most people go past not even looking up from their phones.
"Plenty of kids walked past so you don't want them to see bad words like "scum" on there.
"Our shop is more of a chill out place so people don't tend to come in here and talk about football."