Mannone wants to reimburse Sunderland fans for 8-0 thrashing
In this day and age of modern football, it's easy to accuse footballers and their clubs of not caring for their fans.
However, that's one accusation you can't level at Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone after the Black Cats capitulated to an 8-0 defeat to Southampton.
In fact, the ex-Arsenal goalkeeper feels so bad for the 2,500 fans who made the long trip from the northeast to the south coast of England - a 1,120-odd km journey - to witness the humiliating thrashing, he wants to give them a refund.
Mannone, who was directly responsible for one of those goals when his poor clearance went straight to Dusan Tadic to score the Saints' fifth, said: "I will personally talk to the team to see if it is possible to pay for their tickets and their trip.
"I really mean that we should pay their tickets and travel. I will do everything possible. We should do it because we didn't put a foot in, we didn't work hard. We started the game well but after we conceded we threw in the towel and I include myself.
"It is difficult for us but it's very difficult for them as well. It is a difficult moment. We will go through it during the week. We will have time. The Premier League is really difficult. We have a tough game again at home, so there is no time to feel sorry for ourselves. We need to react.
"As I said they are special fans. We are really lucky to be at this club and have these fans. If it was me, I would probably not react in the same way."
While Mannone's candid admission might seem fresh in today's football climate, Sunderland do have previous experience in helping their fans out.
Back in 2007, then-chairman Niall Quinn spent £8,000 ($16,403) of the club's money to ferry home 80 Black Cats fans from Bristol Airport.
Rejecting the airline's ejection of the fans for alleged drunken behaviour, the ex-Ireland striker refused to board the plane and hired a fleet of taxis to send the stranded supporters home to Wearside - some 483km away.
Sources: PA Sport, BBC