Sunderland Chief Executive Jim Rodwell has reacted with disappointment to the EFL’s decision to curtail the current season, but his words have not been met well by fans.
The Wearsiders will spend a third season in the third tier, unprecedented during their time as a professional club. With the season ending early, the Black Cats will be forced to once again ‘endure’ trips to Rochdale, Shrewsbury and Lincoln as they finished outside the top six on points per game.
Rodwell believes the fans deserve better from the club, something he aims to deliver. “Our fans have been magnificent, and we know how much they, like the players and staff, will be hurting today,” he said.
“But it’s our supporters who have the set the standard over the last two seasons, following the team home and away in incredible numbers, and we have failed to match them.
“As a club, we have to strive to be better and ensure we learn from the mistakes we have made because regardless of the circumstances, finishing eighth in League One isn’t good enough and I don’t think anyone would tell you otherwise.
“Our sole focus moving forward must be to build a squad that is capable of winning this division next season. I have spoken to Phil Parkinson at length and we have a very clear idea of what we need to achieve that goal.”
The Lincoln-born 49-year-old started out as a junior at his hometown club, but left when they were relegated out of the Football League in 1987 and joined Darlington, where he made one appearance. After a stint spent knocking around the non-league scene, he found success with Rushden and Diamonds, later playing for Boston United before ending up as Director of Football. He later took over as chairman and once controversially defended Steve Evans after his conviction for tax fraud at York Street.
Once Boston were sold, Rodwell moved on to Notts County as part of the changes that saw Ray Trew take control of the club, before heading to Scunthorpe United where he’s been most recently.
Without a firm background of success in football, Sunderland fans have not taken to his appointment and they’ve reacted with some anger to his words, and his bosses, as you’ll see below.
Now more than ever is a time to listen to the fans. Phil has never been welcome here and he never will be get rid of him, yourself and stewart donald.
— Sean // BLACK LIVES MATTER (@SeanDHW) June 9, 2020
You know nothing of the supporters Jim. You’re here for an easy pay check. Why don’t you go to Stewart and say that we don’t want any of you. Just go so we can have the club back
— hannah Brown (@brownh1989) June 10, 2020
Do us a favour Jim, switch the lights off when ya leave. There’s a good fella ??
— Andrew Malcolmson (@podmundo) June 9, 2020
No Shit Sherlock. That’s been the case for the last 10 years. AT LEAST
— Sandancer KCH (@sandancer18) June 9, 2020
Embarrassing owners, embarrassing statement from a bloke no one wants at our club #donaldout
— Paul Maven (@HinnyMaven) June 9, 2020
SAFC is a corpse of a club.
Well done to the owners for dragging us to the worst period of the clubs history with empty words, decreasing standards and a very bleak future.
But pleased you managed to address the piss taking.
— ĝαƦƦψ (@yuenglinghunter) June 9, 2020
it’s just words at the end of the day. if you were good enough to do your job we would have cleaned this league #DonaldOut
— ??????? (@ridd5rz) June 9, 2020
Tell Jim Rodwell that the message from a significant number of supporters is that we want his bosses to sell up and leave ASAP. #safc
— David Marjoram (@PlannerMarj) June 9, 2020