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Sunderland apologises to fans after stadium bar decorated in Newcastle colours ahead of FA Cup tie | UK News


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A football club has apologised to its fans after a stadium bar was decorated in the colours of its arch-rivals, days before the teams meet in the FA Cup.

Bosses at Sunderland AFC have admitted the club made a “serious error in judgement” after banners saying “Keep the Black and White Flying High” and “We are United” were hung at the Stadium of Light, ahead of Saturday’s third-round tie against Newcastle.

A message reading “Ha’way the lads” in Sunderland red was replaced with the Geordie spelling “Howay” in black.

Sunderland play in red and white; Newcastle in black and white.

Newcastle United Supporters' Club social media post on X
The Newcastle United Supporters’ Club posted about the Sunderland bar on X

In a statement on its website, the Championship club said sorry to fans for “the understandable concern they have fairly voiced” and said an “immediate review” had been ordered.

It also said the Black Cats Bar, which will serve as a corporate hospitality area for visiting fans, would be returned to its previous state before the lunchtime kick-off.

The Newcastle United Supporters’ Club posted pictures of the Magpies branding on X, joking they “can’t fault the hospitality of our hosts this weekend”.

A later post said: “Unfortunately the signage is coming down but the damage has already been done.”

The supporters’ club also claimed Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus was “fully aware of the plans” and has been “left surprised” at the backlash.

Sunderland owner, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus, knew about the plan, a Newcastle fan club said
Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus knew about the plan, a Newcastle fan club claimed

Tensions were already running high among Black Cats fans after some season ticket holders were moved from their usual seats to accommodate 6,000 travelling Magpies supporters in the stadium’s North Stand.

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Long-standing fanzine A Love Supreme said on X: “At a complete loss for words. What on earth are the club doing?!?!?!

“Don’t think the club realise how much of a mistake decorating the stadium with Newcastle stuff is. Any goodwill they’ve developed from the results on the pitch/getting us back into the Championship could genuinely be completely gone especially if we lose on Saturday.”

On Instagram, a fan called it “disgusting” and said he’d “never been so angry and disappointed with the club”.

“Disgrace” was a popular reaction, with users telling bosses they “should be ashamed”.

The eagerly-anticipated fixture will be the first time the northeast neighbours have met since a 1-1 Premier League draw at St James’ Park in March 2016.

Sunderland had won each of the previous six encounters.

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Written by: radioroxi

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