'Inexcusable' - Sunderland owner gives update on Newcastle United FA Cup tie controversy

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There has been an update given on a decision taken ahead of Newcastle United's FA Cup tie at Sunderland earlier this season.

Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has given an update an update on an internal investigation over a controversial decision taken by the Black Cats ahead of their FA Cup third round tie with Newcastle United.

The North East rivals were paired together in the FA Cup third round draw in January as they met for the first time in the competition since 1956 and in any competition since a 1-1 Premier League draw at St James Park in 2016. It was the Magpies that came out on top in the tie as an Alexander Isak brace and an own goal from Sunderland defender Dan Ballard helped them progress into the fourth round and gave them a first derby win since 2011.

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However, the week before the Stadium of Light clash was dominated by a decision taken to redecorate the Black Cats Bar in black and white colours and to post several pro-Magpies slogans around the venue. That decision provoked fierce anger from Sunderland supporters and led to the bar being restored to its previous state just hours before the game.

Speaking at the time, Louis-Dreyfus apologised to supporters and the Sunderland Echo have now reported the Black Cats owner has given an update on the investigation that took place during a meeting with several supporter groups earlier this month.

The minutes of the meeting read: ”Following the conclusion of an internal investigation requested by the Club’s Board of Directors, we identified that a serious error in judgement was made in relation to the Black Cats Bar.

"We now understand how this error in judgement was made and have identified where accountability sits, confirming that the action taken was inexcusable and more importantly preventable.

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“Although employment law prevents us from sharing any information, all staff involved in the matter were interviewed and following the conclusion of a detailed internal enquiry, the appropriate levels of action have now been taken to conclude this process. At the last meeting with supporters’ groups, we made a commitment to putting fans at the heart of all that we do.

“That commitment is unwavering, and as supporters you will soon start to see meaningful change. We understand where we need to improve, and this includes an ongoing requirement to continually develop our people and refine our processes. In the coming months, we are excited about bringing that commitment to life and embracing it throughout all levels of our club."

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