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Post  Hieronymus on 2019-02-09, 7:39 pm

Interesting article in the Observer (tomorrow but already published online tonight!). Most of you know how I feel about it but cannot help but agree with the view that the cancellation of the X-Trail marks the beginning of the end for Nissan in Sunderland and this is down to Brexit. And while the club may be a refuge for supporters at the moment there is no way it can fill the economic gap of lost jobs which are coming.

Sunderland: where the terraces are a refuge from the uncertainties of Brexit
Nissan’s bombshell for the city has dented confidence, but citizens draw strength from their football team
Anthony Clavane
Sat 9 Feb 2019 19.11 GMT

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Sunderland fans cheer on their team against Charlton Athletic at the Stadium of Light last August. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/BPI/REX/Shutterstock

Andrew Cammiss got up at four yesterday morning to set off on a 250-mile trip to Oxford for a third division football match. “I took my lad Niall who’s named after my favourite player,” he reveals. Along with other club legends Peter Reid and Kevin Phillips, an image of Niall Quinn is inked on the 39-year-old superfan’s body. “It takes my mind off things. Tattoos show my love for the lads.”
By “things” he means the latest kick in the teeth to his home city. Nissan has scrapped plans to manufacture the X-Trail sport-utility vehicle there. Despite reassurances that the cancellation does not imperil the plant, which employs about 7,000 people, Cammiss fears the worst. “I’ve a cousin and uncle who work there. Everyone knows someone who works there. If Nissan goes we’ll be gutted for a bit, but we’ll get used to it. There’s always the football.”
Such blind faith is not shared by Father Marc Lyden-Smith. Like Cammiss, he was an unlikely star of Netflix’s documentary Sunderland ’Til I Die, a fly-on-the-wall portrait of last season’s descent into oblivion, or League One as it is more commonly known. In the opening episode, the local priest began his sermon with the incantation: “Dear Lord, help Sunderland because the success of our team leads to the success and prosperity of our city.”
This season there has been a mini-revival, with new owners – rather than divine intervention – inspiring a push for promotion. But the dysfunctionality exposed in the documentary continues to blight a city scarred by both sporting and economic austerity. Thatcherism oversaw the destruction of the mines and shipyards in the 1980s. According to a government report, a hard Brexit would lead to a 16% economic decline in the region. The fallout from the Nissan cancellation might prove to be the final nail in the coffin.
“The very culture of this city is we make things – that’s why we’re Mackems,” Lyden-Smith tells me in a cafe near the metro railway station. “This is the city’s identity. It was eroded with the closure of the shipyards and pits. There is a tangible sense of anxiety and worry about what’s happening with Nissan. If that goes, what else do we make? There are some business leaders looking at new development, but who’s the major employer of the last 10 years? It’s the football club, which has had back-to-back relegation and redundancies.”
It was the intense connection between city and club which inspired Fulwell 73 producer Leo Pearlman and two other Sunderland fans to make the Netflix series. It is a love letter to a city on its knees, a searing, riches-to-rags account of the central role the people’s game still plays in a left-behind, deindustrialised area. “It’s the last thing we have,” says Pearlman. “The Nissan thing feels like another blow to the city. It’s terrible news.”

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The fortunes of Sunderland are closely aligned to those of carmaker Nissan. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

If there is hope, it lies in the fans. Despite the club’s rapid freefall, the crippling debt and bad investments, the rise in child poverty and decline in public services, attendances at the Stadium of Light have averaged more than 30,000. On Boxing Day, a new League One record was set when about 46,000 turned out to watch the team beat Bradford City; only Manchester United and Liverpool attracted more supporters.

Taxi driver Peter Farrer says the football has always been an escape from economic woes. As he drives past the ground’s Davy Lamp monument, a tribute to the colliery it has replaced, he argues that the sport has been “taken game away from the working man”. But Sunderland is the exception. There would be no club without the supporters; there would be no point to it.
Farrer has become a local hero since appearing in the documentary, but “I’m not big-headed or up me own arse. People do recognise us in the street. I’ve had nobody slag us. Just support. We’re all fanatics like. We cannot help ourselves. We never lost the hard core supporters. You just cannae give up. If Hitler invaded Poland on Tuesday I’d still be at the Blackpool match.”
As we pass the world-famous carmaker, housed in a giant factory complex just off the A19, he suddenly confesses to being a Remainer. Sunderland is known as Brexit City, with 61% voting to Leave. “I’ve had a bellyful of Brexit but I do know the local economy is dependent on Nissan.” He points out the sprawling fields. “These were football pitches but hopefully will now be used to bring the supply chain nearer. That’s if Nissan doesn’t go. Nobody knows for sure.”
Half a mile away, in a village pub, a former Nissan employee – Steven France – is waiting for me. He’s also a former footballer. After starring for a Sunday League team, he played for Barbados against Cuba in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers. Today he’s a community leader.
“Nissan won’t necessarily close tomorrow,” says France, “but it will in 10 or 15 years time. Jacob Rees Mogg’s favourite economist, Patrick Minford, said the car industry will have to be wound down if Britain left the EU. I’ve got to explain this to my community. People work blood, sweat and tears in that factory.
“Sure, the club brings people together. It is the last big community. But how will that feed people? How is the club going to take the 16% GDP hit in the city?”

Anthony Clavane is a sports writer and the author of Promised Land and Moving the Goalposts


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Post  Guest on 2019-02-10, 9:29 am

It would be foolish indeed to argue, even as a leave voter, that a hard Brexit would not affect UK exporting cars to the EU, similarly Germany exports 10% of its cars to the UK that would be affected also.

However a couple of other issues arise with the Nissan X Trail, generally the auto press do not rate it compared to similar cars and therefore its sales compared to the success of the Quashqu (sp) Juke, Micra etc are not good, which puts a question mark over its production anyhow. Leaf ie electric is the way.. we are currently thinking about a Kia E Niro to replace one of our cars.

The Nissan X Trail is not good in the diesel emissions ratings and like most diesels sales are suffering.

Of course remainers will jump on any stories like Nissan.. but it is part of the story.. Nissan obviously do not what to admit the X  Trail is a bit of a dud.

The unelected fanatics who lead the EU are also starting to show their true colours as they think anybody who does not but into their "project", are idiots. A bit like rabid evangelical christians and vegans.
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Post  Hieronymus on 2019-02-10, 10:12 am

sunderpitt wrote:It would be foolish indeed to argue, even as a leave voter, that a hard Brexit would not affect UK exporting cars to the EU, similarly Germany exports 10% of its cars to the UK that would be affected also.

However a couple of other issues arise with the Nissan X Trail, generally the auto press do not rate it compared to similar cars and therefore its sales compared to the success of the Quashqu (sp) Juke, Micra etc are not good, which puts a question mark over its production anyhow. Leaf ie electric is the way.. we are currently thinking about a Kia E Niro to replace one of our cars.

The Nissan X Trail is not good in the diesel emissions ratings and like most diesels sales are suffering.

Of course remainers will jump on any stories like Nissan.. but it is part of the story.. Nissan obviously do not what to admit the X  Trail is a bit of a dud.

The unelected fanatics who lead the EU are also starting to show their true colours as they think anybody who does not but into their "project", are idiots. A bit like rabid evangelical christians and vegans.
Your arguments about the X-Trail may be valid but what is clear is that Nissan promised to buld it here in Sunderland and now they are not. That ultimately means less investment and less jobs in Sunderland than was planned. Nissan made it clear when they came to Sunderland all those years ago that access to EU markets was the critical factor, and their management has consistently said the uncertainlty around Brexit is harming business decision making,

ALL MEPs in every country are elected so who are these unelected fanatics to whom you refer? The EU does have a 'civil service' of around 33000 people, just as the British Government has around 400,000, who are necessary for the running of the country (as the articlle from the Economist below explains). The 'unlelected' trope is one introduced by Farage and propagated by the right wing gutter press of this country, and it seems has been absorbed even by those who should know better.

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Post  gil t azell on 2019-02-10, 10:12 am

The X-trail was never a massive seller and I think the Sunderlands Nissan plant will gear up for future electric/hybrid cars.

Its all bluff & double bluff at the moment and the government f*cking about with Brexit isnt helping but too much money has been invested into the plant to let it go. There is a trained workforce second to none which Nissan will openly admit and this factory produces a lot more cars than all of the others.

There is a downturn in the selling of cars worldwide so I think all car producers are suffering at the moment.
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Post  cyprussyd on 2019-02-10, 10:41 am

Well first thing is I have never gone to a football match to escape the worries of BREXT, escape yes but not BREXIT.

Remainers have jumped all over the Nissan decision as an example of the problem with BREXIT even though Nissan themselves have never said its the problem with BREXIT but all to do with the uncertainty of BREXIT, that for me is all to do with the shambolic handling of BREXIT my May.

Labours plan of a very soft BREXIT for me is the answer and would please all but those at the extreme ends of stay or go.

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Post  Guest on 2019-02-10, 10:42 am

Donald Tusk, who is Polish, and their former PM, but not supported by Poland twice to be a leader in the EU

Or  Junker a drunk handsy former Luxembourg PM, who reputedly took bribes from international companies in return for low tax rates in Luxembourg. Strongly opposed by Cameron.. but still selected

Or Tusks deputy whose selection was opposed by the UK and several other countries but was still selected... that sort of democracy.

The numbers of EU officials you quote is bogus cos it goes not include all those employed on EU business in nation states
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Post  Kipper on 2019-02-10, 12:40 pm

I've got an idea - let's talk about football instead.
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Post  Kipper on 2019-02-10, 12:41 pm

I've got an idea - let's talk about football instead.
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Post  cyprussyd on 2019-02-10, 1:10 pm

Kipper wrote:I've got an idea - let's talk about football instead.
I heard yo the first time  rof rof rof rof rof rof rof

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Post  canary-dave on 2019-02-10, 1:19 pm

cyprussyd wrote:
Kipper wrote:I've got an idea - let's talk about football instead.
I heard yo the first time  rof rof rof rof rof rof rof

Good ideas need to be repeated  like

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Post  cyprussyd on 2019-02-10, 1:25 pm

canary-dave wrote:
cyprussyd wrote:
Kipper wrote:I've got an idea - let's talk about football instead.
I heard yo the first time  rof rof rof rof rof rof rof

Good ideas need to be repeated  like
OK, I heard him the first time

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Post  Lever Malone on 2019-02-10, 1:44 pm

Right let's talk about football. How do you think Brexit will affect football considering all the Europeans we have in the game we invented.  Very Happy
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Post  cyprussyd on 2019-02-10, 1:45 pm

Lever Malone wrote:Right let's talk about football. How do you think Brexit will affect football considering all the Europeans we have in the game we invented.  Very Happy
I wish some of our buys had been imaginary never mind invented.

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