Sunderland chiefs APPROVED controversial Newcastle decorations at their stadium before Christmas – despite claims they were shocked by photos emerging – as fans say owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has ‘insulted’ them

5 January 2024 0 By Total Football News
  • Black Cats fans were incensed by decision to let their loathed rivals redecorate 
  • Sunderland's owners offered an apology before taking down the signs  
  • Sunderland could be the catalyst for real pressure to engulf Eddie Howe - It's All Kicking Off

Sunderland approved the wording of Newcastle’s black-and-white signage before Christmas - and it would have been used inside the Stadium of Light if not for a supporter backlash.

Mail Sport can reveal that senior figures at the Championship club were sent the slogans for use by Newcastle on December 21, and confirmed their approval in writing the same day.

Sunderland had asked the Magpies to decorate the Black Cats Bar – where some away fans will be housed for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round tie - in their own colours to safeguard against damage to the red-and-white interior.

Newcastle agreed to cover the cost and their ideas for the artwork - including ‘We are United’, ’Keep the black and white flying high’ and replacing ‘Ha’way the lads’ with ‘Howay the lads’ - were all approved by their North-East rivals. The artwork of a ‘Cheer up Peter Reid’ image was already installed in the bar and was not provided by the Premier League club. 

The process then began of an external signage company rebranding the suite, where more than 700 travelling fans have paid £600 for a hospitality seat.

Black and white Newcastle displays decorated an away fan hospitality area at the Stadium of Light before mass uproar from Sunderland fans

Black and white Newcastle displays decorated an away fan hospitality area at the Stadium of Light before mass uproar from Sunderland fans

Owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus was forced into an embarrassing climb down with apology to fans

Owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus was forced into an embarrassing climb down with apology to fans

However, when images of the signs emerged online on Thursday, Sunderland fans responded with fury.

Chris Weatherspoon, of the Wise Men Say podcast, said: ‘In 2007, Mike Ashley tried to wear black and white stripes in the Stadium of Light boardroom and was told where to go. The current hierarchy have handed over an entire end of the Stadium of Light and allowed the visitors to redecorate. They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.’

It prompted an embarrassing climbdown and an apology from the club and owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, with Sunderland admitting to ‘a serious error of judgement’.

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However, many fans feel the damage has already been done. Michael Graham said: ‘Sunderland have hurt and angered us before, but never downright insulted us - until now. They have had a total ‘mare over the handling of the derby and it’s important they realise it. 

'Just about every decision they’ve taken has been a slap in the face of their own fans. Not the intent, I’m sure, but inescapable proof they need to reassess their processes.’


This news item was provided by the EFL Championship News, Fixtures and Results | Mail Online website - the original link is: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-12929991/Sunderland-approved-controversial-Newcastle-decorations-Stadium-Light-Christmas-supporters-furious-owner-Kyril-Louis-Dreyfus.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ito=1490&ns_campaign=1490