Anger and upset after SAFC removes pitch soil with loved ones remains in it, and demanded Heaven Supporters Branch remove image

Sunderland A.F.C has attracted criticism from some fans over its decision to remove the top soil from the Stadium of Light pitch on very short notice, where the ashes of people’s loved ones have been placed

The decision to remove the soil is part of a scheme to replace the undersoil heating system at the Stadium as part of a series of plans to renovate its facilities recently revealed.

However, this comes with the added consequence of removing the ashes of people’s deceased family members who have been placed there in the soil as a tribute to them.

This has produced anger from bereaved fans, who criticised the club’s short-notice decision making on the Sunderland A.F.C Heaven supporters branch page, which serves as a memorial to fans that have passed away.

Fans noted that they have been contacted by the club to attend in person to discuss this issue. It is not known what solution the club proposes on this issue.

Facing criticism, the club then contacted the SAFC heaven supporters branch and demanded they remove an image of a digger moving soil which had come from the pitch. As stated by founder Joanne Youngson in a post:

“We have been asked by the Club to remove the post picturing the digger starting work on the pitch as they say it has upset people. We apologise, it is never our intention to hurt anyone only to offer support and comfort.”

Upon publishing this apology, members of the group moved to defend Joanne and criticise the club’s decision making, especially the fact it has been done on such short notice without any consideration of this issue with the fans.