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Why Jack Colback is no 'traitor' for joining Newcastle from Sunderland

Colback completed a move to Newcastle United today, and the midfielder was left with little choice but to turn his back on the club he served for 14 years.

Following the end of his contract at Sunderland, the 24-year-old has sealed a deal to move across the north east joining bitter rivals Newcastle United on a free-transfer. 

Colback will become the latest in a very exclusive group of players who have represented both Sunderland and Newcastle United, joining the likes of Lee Clark, Paul Bracewell, Bob Moncur, Titus Bramble and Bryan "Pop" Robson. 

Colback made 115 first team appearances during his time with the Black Cats and scored five goals with three of them coming in his final season at the Stadium of Light. 

The news has caused a stir in the north east today, with many Sunderland fans taking to social media labelling their former midfielder a 'traitor', while Newcastle fans expressed their reservations too. 

But to label Colback a traitor is rash and a little harsh.

In fact in some respects, the midfielder was left with little choice but to leave the Stadium of Light. 

The academy graduate was earning a meagre £6,000-per-week basic pay at Sunderland and although he had made clear his desire to extend his stay, the club failed to offer a deal deserving of one of their longest serving players and subsequently the 24-year-old ran down his contract. 

For a Premier League player to be earning as little as £6,000 a week in this day and age is practically unheard of, especially when that player is a regular starter in the first team such as Colback who made 102 league appearances in three consecutive seasons, rarely missing a game. 

The career of a footballer is short, and whilst many are quick to condemn players for being money driven and greedy, Colback is clearly not of that ilk. 

Born and raised in Killingworth, North Tyneside, the former England under-20 international has turned down a reported £50,000- per-week deal at West Ham to join his boyhood club, and stay in the north east. 

Although Colback will now receive the first big pay day in his career, he has turned down the opportunity of a bigger one in East London in favour of signing for his local team. 

Alliances aside, Sunderland fans must respect the fact that Colback was committed to Sunderland during his time and saw out his contract at the Stadium of Light before making a move. 

Colback clearly holds a soft spot for the club that gave him a chance as a youngster. The 24-year-old made no hesitation in celebrating his goal in the 3-0 derby victory at St James' Park last season and is obviously one of a small amount of players that can associate themselves with both Tyne and Wear clubs. 

A tough season lies ahead now for the Newcastle man. As much as Sunderland fans are cursing his exit, Newcastle fans are cursing his entrance following his antics in the derby, but Colback has a good professional head on his shoulders and will no doubt knuckle down and work hard to impress in his new surroundings.  

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