Sunderland AFC supporter who created mock 'Sports Direct' shop to wind up Newcastle fans says 'it's a bit of fun'

The Sunderland fan who created a shop front poking fun at supporters of Newcastle United who protest against club owner Mike Ashley has defended the sign.

Friday, 12th October 2018, 6:11 pm
Updated Saturday, 13th October 2018, 6:35 am
The mocked up shop front in Hylton Road, Sunderland.

Darren Pearson created the sign at a store in Hylton Road in reaction to protests by Magpies fans outside Sports Direct stores owned by Mr Ashley.

The mocked up shop front in Hylton Road, Sunderland.

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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.

Some 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.But Mr Pearson has defended the sign.

He said: "At the end of the day it’s a bit of fun.

The mocked up shop front in Hylton Road, Sunderland.

"When we got relegated, twice, they put signs up leading to the Stadium of Light taking the Micky, but at least we didn’t start shouting at shops and restaurants, or even taking our shoes off in protest!

"Saying that, it must be good business for Mike Ashley if they lose a shoe cos we all know where they’ll go for a cut price cheap replacement!"

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.

Sports Direct and Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley.

"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".