Sunderland have announced a pre-season friendly against near-neighbours South Shields and it’s caused quite a stir on social media.
The Black Cats will travel the short distance to Mariners Park on July 11th to give their non-league rivals a big payday, but the game has significance for a couple of reasons.
When Sunderland were struggling to find form last season, a number of their ‘supporters’ allegedly defected to South Shields to watch the Mariners instead. That’s prompted some to question who those fans will be cheering for come the early July fixture.
Other fans have suggested that instead of the successful South Shields side, Sunderland should be looking to host Gateshead at the Stadium of Light. They’re a side in dire trouble, expelled from the National League and the National league North and now facing the prospect of starting again as a phoenix club.
Some supporters seem to favour a match with them that does some good, rather than the trip to South Shields. Here are the best of the responses from Twitter from underwhelmed fans.
No mate just thinking jeez shields getting all that publicity after we have got all those great fixtures organised. I think safc must think they are a big non league fish and we aren’t.
— colin smith (@colinsm49915463) June 4, 2019
How about a game v Gateshead with all ticket sales going towards the non league club
— Daniel Jenks (@DanielJenks89) June 4, 2019
We should host gateshead at the sol and give all the profits to them
— james turnbull (@jxmes123) June 4, 2019
Aye I think you're right itll more than likely be U23s… if @SouthShieldsFC opted for their first team against that bunch it could be a cricket score.
— Andrew (@A_G_89) June 4, 2019
Can we not have a decent friendly this season
— Stephen dent (@DentSteve) June 4, 2019
Wonder how all the cretins who jumped ship to support Shields feel about this
— Geoff Stepping (@GeoffStepping) June 4, 2019
Staying in Spain for that one
— Kiel Tulloch (@KielTulloch) June 4, 2019