Former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips has told Football Insider that he has been taken aback by the club’s recent announcement regarding season tickets for next season.
The Black Cats’ chief operating officer Steve Davison recently informed a supporters’ group that 21,000 season tickets had already been sold ahead of the upcoming 2021/22 campaign at the Stadium of Light.
This comes in the wake of the club once again falling short of their objectives last term as they lost out in the Sky Bet League One play-off semi finals to Lincoln City on aggregate, which means the North East outfit will now spend a fourth straight season in the third tier.
Phillips has now lauded the dedication that has been shown by the Sunderland faithful and was quick to state the following after hearing the news about the ticket sales:
“They don’t disappoint do they? The Sunderland fans.
“I’m not surprised. I’m sure there will be more before next season starts.
“No matter how frustrated they were after that last game when people surrounded Lee Johnson.
“A lot of people said they wouldn’t step foot back in the Stadium of Light. But once the dust settles, they are football fans.
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“They will get behind their club. They will do it in abundance again next year. It shows how passionate those supporters are.
“21,000 in League One is just phenomenal really. Let’s hope the club can finally give those loyal fans something to cheer about next season with a promotion.”
Sunderland have by far and away the largest stadium in League One at present, with the Stadium of Light possessing space for 49,000 supporters.
With an ever expectant fanbase set to attend games in their droves next term, the pressure will be on the club once more to go one better in the league and achieve that elusive promotion back to the Championship.
Without wishing to sound too cliché, football is nothing without the fans and I for one will love to see the sight of supporters once again packing out the Stadium of Light and making a good atmosphere as they get behind their team.
It’s been a tough year for everybody involved in football but now it appears that we are slowly edging towards normality and that is something that Phillips clearly loves too.
With a passionate fanbase behind them and a talented manager in Lee Johnson at the helm, Sunderland could finally be on the road to promotion if they get the right players in.
Whoever pulls on the red and white stripes will be cheered on to the end by one of the best fanbases in the Football League and that is a sight that everyone wants to see again.