Sunderland Goalkeeper Vito Mannone who suffered the embarrassment of picking the ball out of his own net no less than 8 times at St Mary’s on the weekend has called on team mates and the club to refund the fans who watched the abysmal performance.
Losing 3 nil at half time in what many felt was already a shut-out, Southampton’s attacking talent continued to keep their foot on the gas pedal as in form striker Graziano Pelle showed why he was called up to The Azzuri with a brace, although Sunderland exceeded this achievement with three own goals.
Releasing an official statement a few days after the match,the club announced that players have backed Vito Mannone’s suggestion with fans able to claim a refund for their ticket either at the stadium ticket office or by post.
Sunderland AFC Captain John O’Shea said: “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.”
Whilst undoubtedly a fantastic gesture in an increasing age where many critics are suggesting that football clubs in England are taking fans for granted, Chris Thompson of the Sunderland fanzine A Love Supreme feels slightly conflicted.
“It was embarrassing and Sunderland are the laughing stock of English football at the moment, but is it right for football? “What sort of precedent will it set?
“It is three points that we didn’t gain and if we beat Arsenal at home next week all will be forgiven.”
Fans who wish to claim a refund should contact the club before 5pm on Wednesday 5th November.