New Sunderland fan group Red & White Army request meeting with club chiefs

Sunderland AFC fans.
Sunderland AFC fans.
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New Sunderland fan group the Red & White Army hope to sit down with chief executive Martin Bain and owner Ellis Short for an introductory meeting.

The Red and White Army (RAWA) independent supporters' organisation launched at the end of September and organisers say there has been a "fantastic response" with more than 2,000 supporters already signed up.

Organisers have now requested an introductory meeting with chief executive Bain and owner Short in a bid to start a process of "structured dialogue".

RAWA is a 'fully democratic, inclusive and independent' supporters group which aims to give a voice to all Sunderland fans, with the aim of liaising with and communicating with the club in the hope of strengthening fan relationships.

In a letter to the club, interim chairman Andrew Hird wrote: "RAWA is formally requesting a meeting with the owner and CEO of SAFC at the earliest opportunity to introduce ourselves, and begin a process of structured dialogue.

"We believe this will bring lasting benefits to SAFC and all of its supporters.

"RAWA is aware of existing forms of engagement between various supporter groups and the club. We applaud the club and particularly those supporters who give up their own time to feed into these processes.

"We are not seeking to replace any of this but we hope we can enhance it.

"For many supporters, their loyalty feels like a gift that is being taken for granted, as if they’re merely extras in someone else’s story.

"We want our fans to take centre stage again, in order that they can help shape the club’s future."

The group's first official meeting is due to take place this week, on Tuesday, October 3 at 6.30pm at Sunderland’s Peacock Inn.

To attend supporters need to register their interest. For more information about the meeting and the new group click here or visit www.redandwhitearmy.co.uk.