As the father of four daughters football has never really been a thing in our house. How would I have ever found the time between gymnastics, ballet and brownies to scream profanities at elleven men kicking a ball round a pitch? My brother on the other hand has always been a die hard fan, so I took his recommendation to watch the Netflix 8 part mini series 'Sunderland 'Til I Die' with a pinch of salt.
I shouldn't have been so sceptical however because even if you have no interest in football whatsoever like me but have an interest in business and organisational change then it is an absolute must view!
The camera crew follow the hapless club as they lurch from one disaster to the next. throughout the '17-'18 season. They manage to get relegated twice and sack two managers. The CEO is stuck between a rock and hard place as he tries valiantly but hopelessly to deal with each issue in turn but only at the end does he get to grips with the core issue, which is the owners lack of interest and investment.
Some of his dilemmas are bizarre such as trying to convince a player who some idiot signed up on wages of £70k per week in the Premiership without negotiating a get out if they get relegated to leave without any compensation for the good of the club (reallocating his wages would have been a massive win for the club). He unsurprisingly chooses to stay and see out the rest of his career on the bench.
The fans on the other hand, as the title suggests probably would probably give up £70k per week if they had that much for the good of the team as the club is literally the most important thing in their lives and certainly the only remnant of what this former industrial town was, when it had shipbuilding and mining. They cover themselves in Sunderland tattoos and even get buried in its kit; that's what they call customer engagement!
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