Sunderland open new Supporters Club branch in North Korea

FILE IMAGE - A general view prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Manchester City at The Stadium of Light on December 3, 2014
Image: Sunderland are looking to build a fanbase in North Korea

Sunderland have launched a branch of their official Supporters Club in North Korea.

The Sky Bet League One side made the announcement over the weekend and it will be run by Tom Fowdy, whose Visit North Korea company already has an advertising deal with local non-league side Blyth Spartans.

Fowdy, who was born in Sunderland, organises visits to the communist state for tourists and hopes the Supporters Club branch will see North Korea adopt the Black Cats as their team.

He told the club's website: "Our plan is to raise awareness by donating a gradual flow of Sunderland merchandise to the country, including football shirts, scarfs and other memorabilia.

"We will look at donating to local schools, colleges and other institutions. North Koreans do love their football, but they have no access or resources to buy things like football shirts.

"This provides an incredible opportunity not just to develop our fanbase, but to engage in a profound act of charity as well to a people much less fortunate than our own.

"We are starting from scratch. That is the excitement of this challenge.

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"They have an awareness of the Premier League and inevitably drift towards the "big teams", but we are going to connect with them in a personal way which no club has ever yet tried."

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