North-south football divide is a figment of the imagination

Scene one: Sunderland, April 2017

David Moyes is discussing culture shock, regional imbalances and their role in his club’s relegation. “Along with Manchester, London is the capital of English football and those cities will always attract the best players,” says Sunderland’s manager, a few weeks before his resignation.

“This club is most suited to British-type players who understand this region, to people who’ve been brought up here, are used to it and for whom the north-east is not such a big shock. A lot of players from overseas or other parts of the country haven’t found it quite so easy to settle here.”

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