Wear The People

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Ellis Short - what is his end game?

Posted on 12 February, 2018 at 9:50

I wrote a book once about my time in Afghanistan with the RAF, whilst trying to keep up to date with what was going on back home, with then manager, Roy Keane and his charges, pushing for promotion for Sunderland. 

The book, "From Afghanistan to Temazepam" was published in October 2007 and did reasonably well in sales, so much so, you'd have to go second hand and buy it on Amazon now. Fast forward to October 2017 and a friend suggested I provide an update of things since the original book release, a mini summary if you like, to mark the decade since first penning those original thoughts. 

And so at the start of February 2018, the eBook, "Attack! Attack! Attack! The story of football, business and war" was launched on all relevant digital platforms. 

Split into 3 main elements, the 30,000 words look at my life since that tour in Afghanistan in the first chapter (military), life as fanzine editor of Seventy3 Magazine (football) and the third and final chapter on job roles since, particularly that of Sports Editor for ncj Media (business). 

However, it will be the football element that will attract the attention of Sunderland fans. 

As editor of Seventy3 Magazine, I interviewed all of the surviving 1973 team, the likes of Peter Reid, Micky Gray, Kevin Phillips and more. 

Yet, possibly the most bizarre relationship was with Ellis Short. 

An order came in one day for a subscription for the magazine via PayPal from an E.Short from Texas. It felt like some kind of wind up, even though the funds had been transferred. One of the team contacted the client and indeed it was Ellis Short, who was glad we got in touch, as he wanted the magazine to be sent to his London address, not Texas. 

He wanted to read Seventy3 to gather an insight into the club and it's culture - nice one. 

It was the beginning of a working relationship with the Sunderland owner. 

There would be conversations on the appointment of Paolo di Canio and support for him from Seventy3, which led to a email exchange about David Miliband, invites for us to attend Ellis' private party the night before the 2014 League Cup final in London and emails about genuine interest in the city. 

The last time I saw Ellis was in the Hilton Hotel, following THAT Everton game, the one that kept us up in May 2016. There were wild celebrations that night and across came Ellis to chat to me and my mate Vinty. God know what was said between us, following several drops of alcohol that evening. There was one photo that emerged of Ellis chatting to us both. With Ellis being so tall, he crouched down to chat to us and when the photo was captured it looked like Ellis was worse for wear from the drink, when in truth he was sober. The image kind of went viral online, with everyone laughing and joking on, with me trying to point out the truth and it was us that were intoxicated, not the Sunderland chairman! 

In the book, I have covered things that Ellis has been engaged with, which suggests at one point he was very much interested in the club and city, which begs the question, where did it all go wrong? 

There is no doubt he has been badly advised, yet at the same time, he oversaw the running of the club. 

I take it he must have experts in their fields, running his other investments, which makes you wonder why he didn't have some kind of football person to help run SAFC? When Niall Quinn left, he was simply never replaced. 

Our current predicament also makes you think, why hasn't Ellis invested, simply to make the club more saleable than what it is now? If he wants rid then so be it, but you'd try and make the club a healthy investment to take on board. Its like selling your house, you'd make it look the best it could be to potential buyers, so why not a football club? 

Having been fortunate to have experienced various occasions and insights into the club, it makes me more baffled to see the club where it is today and the lack of interest from Ellis. 

Ellis Short - what is his end game? Answers on a postcard please. 

Attack! Attack! Attack! The story of football, business and war - is available now from Amazon, iBooks, Kobo and more. Click on the link to see the range of digital platforms available. https://www.books2read.com/u/3L9kXe" target="_blank">http://https://www.books2read.com/u/3L9kXe

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