Between The Lines: Sunderland fans deserve better than Methven’s comments

Sunderland executive director Charlie Methven has had his say on the club’s Wembley heartbreak, but the Black Cats shareholder has chosen his words extremely poorly.

Jack Ross’ side were simply not good enough at Wembley on Monday, and everyone knows it.

The fans were visibly frustrated throughout the afternoon, and it wasn’t hard to see why, as the Black Cats just did not take advantage of the gift-wrapped head-start afforded to them by Charlton.

After Naby Sarr’s comical early own goal, the Wearsiders sat on their lead, created absolutely nothing going forward and relied on an isolated Charlie Wyke to hold the ball up by himself.

Eventually, the Addicks found their way through to win the day in stoppage time, and Methven has given his verdict on the devastating result.

What did he say?

In an interview with Metro Radio, he said: “Ultimately Sunderland fans need to get realistic about that (staying in League One).

“Charlton have been in the Premier League for much of the last 20, 30 years and they had 40,000 fans to our 34,000 fans.

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“On sheer size of club, it’s hard to say that Charlton are the ones that deserved to stay down. I thought the Charlton fans were very loud. I thought our fans were quiet.

“As management, we have to take responsibility that the club didn’t quite believe enough to make it happen.

“We all need to take a look at ourselves now and understand what we need to do to sort this out and get better because it’s obviously a terrific disappointment.”

Make up your mind

So which one is it Charlie? Is another season in League One a “tremendous disappointment”? Or do Black Cats fans need to “get realistic” and accept a second go at the third tier?

Methven, together with Stewart Donald, have brought life back to the club, and their efforts to constantly interact with the fans is admirable, but the executive director simply cannot place a single ounce of blame for Sunday’s disappointment on those fans.

40,000 Wearsiders packed into Wembley for the Checkatrade Trophy final, and another 34,000 rocked up on Sunday ready to produce memories that would last a lifetime.

The performance on the pitch was utterly lifeless, and the responsibility for that lies with the players, manager, staff and owners. Methven has got it all wrong on this occasion.