South Shields FC fans hit out at North Shields chairman over ‘sour grapes’

South Shields' players celebrate their winning goal at North Shields on Saturday. Image by Peter Talbot.
South Shields' players celebrate their winning goal at North Shields on Saturday. Image by Peter Talbot.

A North East football club boss has been accused of “sour grapes” – after aiming a parting shot at promoted rivals South Shields

North Shields FC chairman Alan Matthews used his programme column for his club’s own fixture with Morpeth on Wednesday to aim a dig at the Mariners over their playing budget.

Sour grapes

Kenny Diamond

The Robins lost top spot in Northern League Division One to their cross-river rivals when they were lost 1-0 to the Mariners in Saturday’s crucial derby.

North Shields are now out of the title race, and the Mariners could wrap up the championship tomorrow if they beat Morpeth Town.

Matthews wrote: “Having bought their way out of the Northern League, we wish them well in whatever venture they now undertake.”

Matthews also criticised the Northern League’s decision to allocate 2,000 tickets to South Shields for the League Cup final between the two sides on May 6, and just 1,000 to his own side - based on the respective average attendances of the two clubs.

His comments did not go down well among South Shields supporters.

On the Gazette’s Facebook page, Kenny Diamond wrote: “Sour grapes.”

Blayne O’Brien said: “I’m sure he enjoyed the money put into his club by South Shields fans on Saturday.”

Chris Lilley added: “To have a go at South Shields in that manner is despicable and to do it in a official programme is a disgrace which needs addressed with the governing bodies.”

David Walton said: “Very bitter man, that’s football at any level in any country, in fact sport in general.”

Mark Wheater wrote: “The bloke is clearly clearly extremely jealous. If a wealthy ambitious backer approached him I’m sure he’d kick him right out of his office.”

Andy Gardner posted: “Absolutely deluded, and has no idea what he is talking about.”

The comments came in their dozens.

Rob Mackins said: “Money in football is a fact of life. No one complains that the teams in the top half of the Premier League have too much money!”

Martin Coser wrote: “We did buy our way out, this is literally the only way to increase the league status, profile and popularity of your club.”

Michelle Wall added: “Sounds like a sore loser.”

Leigh Shotton added: “I saw this earlier but thought it wasn’t worth getting bothered about. We are SSFC and we’re making progress. It’s great to see the club rallying the town.”

A spokesman for South Shields FC did not wish to comment on the issue