Sunderland players have banded together to try and salvage the love of their supporters by offering full refunds for those who made the trip down to Southampton for last Saturday’s 8-0 romp.
It’s a classy move after what was one of the darkest days in Sunderland’s history. More than 2,500 fans made the 650 mile round-trip and each one will now have the option of being reimbursed for their troubles or to have the money donated to ‘Grace House’, a children’s hospice.
The idea was suggested by goalkeeper Vito Mannone, who was arguably at fault for three of the eight concessions:
“I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay [for the fans’] tickets and their trip,” Mannone said. “We should do it because we didn’t put our foot [in], we didn’t work hard. We started the game well but after we conceded we threw in the towel – and I include myself.”
Sunderland captain, John O’Shea, led the rally cry.
“We win and lose as a team, players, staff and fans. However, we wanted to acknowledge and thank the supporters who travelled such a long way to give us their backing and despite everything, stayed with us until the final whistle.”
The 8-0 thumping was the worst defeat the Black Cats have suffered in 32 years, leaving fans, players and coaches devastated. Manager Gus Poyet called it “the most embarrassed I’ve ever been on a pitch, without any doubt.”
The offer will cost the Sunderland players over $90,000 and fans have until November 5th to claim a refund. The Black Cats are currently 17th in the table having won one of their opening seven matches. This Saturday, they host Arsenal at the Stadium of Light.