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Short Shrift for Miliband - The Day Ellis Short lost it with David Miliband

Posted on 14 February, 2018 at 5:30

A new eBook has shed light on a bizarre email exchange between a then fanzine editor and football club owner, wanting a campaign set up against former Sunderland AFC vice chairman, David Miliband.

Attack! Attack! Attack! is an eBook looking back at the ten years in the life of author, Malcolm Robinson, since he wrote one of the first books on the modern Afghanistan conflict entitled, “From Afghanistan to Temazepam”.

In the original book, Robinson kept a diary of his time in the Royal Air Force in Kandahar in 2006 to 2007, which was published charting his football team’s (Sunderland) rise to promotion under then manager, Roy Keane.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary, Robinson released “Attack! Attack! Attack! – The story of football, business and war 10 years on” as a look back on events in his life since.


He became editor of Sunderland fan’s magazine, Seventy3, and it was here where one of the most bizarre stories in the eBook comes to light.

It centres around an email exchange between Robinson and Sunderland’s Texan billionaire owner, Ellis Short. In the exchange, Robinson sends Short an electronic copy of Seventy3 in support of then newly appointed head coach – Paolo di Canio.

Short’s reply was to the point, to say the least.

In the email Short wrote: “There should be a fan-led publicity effort to get David Miliband, since he harmed the team by his publicity seeking, and since he abandoned his constituents to go make big money in New York, to disgorge all the money that SAFC paid him as director and donate it to the Foundation of Light to help local families and kids.”

Subsequent emails from Short added “can’t come from team, so this wasn’t my recommendation.”

In an extract from the eBook, Robinson adds: “To say I was a bit shocked would have been an understatement…no way was I expecting a response like that. Don’t get me wrong, the Seventy3 team and I were most likely in complete agreement with Ellis on this one. Miliband had left the club with a public swipe, this after receiving a decent salary, purely for sitting on the board. Yet for this to come from Ellis Short, a public figure and the current owner of Sunderland AFC, a Texan billionaire to a humble fanzine editor, whom he didn't know that well, well was quite astonishing.”

A few days later, Mal obliged with a softer approach to the Miliband affair, this article appearing in the Shields Gazette, the paper for South Shields – the constituency of David Miliband - https://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/miliband-wrong-to-quit-sunderland-over-di-canio-1-5544523" target="_blank">https://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/miliband-wrong-to-quit-sunderland-over-di-canio-1-5544523

Sunderland AFC appointed controversial figure, Paolo di Canio as head coach of the club in March 2013. His suggested links to fascism caused a wave of conflict towards the club from fans and public figures alike, with the Durham Miner’s Association requesting their historic banner back from the club (which hung in the reception of the Stadium of Light) and the resignation of then Sunderland vice chairman and former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.

Indeed, it was Miliband’s resignation citing di Canio’s “past political statements” as his reason for leaving the club, which struck a nerve with owner, Short, leading to the email exchanges calling for a campaign against the former politician.

BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said at the time that Mr Miliband's decision to stand down was entirely to do with Mr Di Canio's appointment and nothing to do with his forthcoming move to New York to work for a charity.

The Sunderland owner, who has seen a public backlash from fans following relegation from the Premier League last season, sees his team currently residing in the relegation zone of the Championship.

Author, Robinson said: “I was in disbelief at the time of the emails, but it showed Ellis’ passion for the club, something that seems to be missing now the club is in freefall. It makes you wonder where that passion and interest from Ellis has gone? I have included balanced stories on Ellis in the book, some good stuff he has done behind the scenes. It makes you wonder why now he seems to have lost interest in the club, when at the end of the day, it is his saleable asset. ”

Attack! Attack! Attack! The Story of Football, Business And War 10 Years On is available now in digital format via this link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Attack-Story-Football-Business-years-ebook/dp/B079NTXJC1/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1518604159&sr=8-8&keywords=malcolm+robinson" target="_blank">https://www.amazon.co.uk/Attack-Story-Football-Business-years-ebook/dp/B079NTXJC1/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1518604159&sr=8-8&keywords=malcolm+robinson

It is available on other platforms here: https://www.books2read.com/u/3L9kXe" target="_blank">https://www.books2read.com/u/3L9kXe

 

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