Takeover talk, kits, moving away fans and board representation: The key points as Martin Bain meets supporters

Martin Bain
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Martin Bain held a meeting with supporters groups last week to discuss a number of issues at the club.

Here's a summary of what was discussed....

TAKEOVER TALK

Martin Bain confirmed to supporters present that Ellis Short was 'actively trying to sell the club' and that various parties had undertaken due diligence to various degrees.

The full story on that is here.

PREMIER CONCOURSE MOVE

With matchday sales being stopped in the Premier Concourse this season, the club took the decision to close the upper tier in the next campaign.

This means the relocation of around 1,500 season ticket holders.

Many supporters were upset that they were not consulted on the move ahead of initially being informed that the decision had been made.

Steve Neill (safety manager) confirmed at the meeting that future changes 'will include consultation with supporters'. 

He also added that those affected were being offered the opportunity to sample a seat in other areas of the ground ahead of the move, and that there would also be an open day.

MERCHANDISE

The meeting raised the prospect of further 'sub-groups' being formed to further increase interaction between the club and supporters on key issues.

One such area could be club merchandise, with supporters present raising the negativity and unhappiness with this season's kit, which caused significant controversy at the time of its unveiling.

Martin Bain confirmed that the current deal with Adidas runs until 2020 and asked if supporters would want some input on the design of future kits.

A decision was taken to form a sub-group to liaise on matters of club merchandise.

Minutes from the meeting read: 'Sunderland AFC' alongside the Supporters Groups Collective have established membership of a sub-group to discuss club merchandise and dates are in the process of being established for the first meeting'.

AWAY FANS

Though the upper bowl will be closed to Sunderland fans next season, away supporters will still be housed in the upper tier of the North Stand.

Many supporters feel this is detrimental to the atmosphere at the Stadium of Light.

At the meeting, supporters asked if it was a red line issue for away fans to be moved into the lower ball. The club confirmed that it wasn't, though discussions would need to be held with the Safety Advisory Group and Northumbria Police.

Minutes from the meeting read: 'Sunderland AFC have undertaken an initial high-level review focusing on the re-location of away supporters, feedback has been given to the Supporter Groups Collective.'

The atmosphere at the ground was also discussed, with Martin Bain stating that 'clappers' had helped boost noise at Rangers, though he was aware that this particular prospect was unpopular on Wearside.

FANS ON BOARD

Following West Ham United's recent decision to appoint an independent fan representative to the board, supporters asked if this is something Sunderland would consider.

Martin Bain 'agreed in principle' to a fan representative being appointed on the board. The Red and White Army agreed to follow this up with supporters.

Minutes from the meeting can be read in full here

Supporters can find out more about the Red and White Army and join the group here.