Sunderland players dig deep to issue apology with ticket refund

Ross McLean
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ASHAMED Sunderland players will offer long-suffering fans who endured their side’s 8-0 humiliation against Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday an apology in the form of a monetary refund.

The 2,600 fans who made the 630-mile round trip to the south coast and witnessed their side’s shocking performance will be offered a full refund on their ticket, but not their transport.

Former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone intimated the guilty players would look to repay their supporters’ loyalty in the wake of the club’s heaviest defeat in 32 years, which Black Cats boss Gus Poyet described as his “most embarrassing” moment in football.

“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,” said club captain John O’Shea.

The afternoon started in ominous fashion as Argentine defender Santiago Vergini scored the first of two Sunderland own goals by crashing an 18-yard volley past Mannone and into his own net.

The remainder of the fixture failed to bring any further joy for the club’s travelling hoards and a figure close to £60,000 is set to be offered as recompense.

Any unclaimed monies will be donated to a Sunderland-based children’s hospice.

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