According to reports, Sunderland’s sale of highly rated goalkeeper Jordan Pickford to Everton last summer was done to keep the club in business. The £30 million sale was a cost-cutting measure that the Black Cats had to make following their relegation from the Premier League.
After selling or releasing 15 players during the offseason, Sunderland’s board only spent £1.25m in their player recruitment. The inability to spend money on players has really cost the team in the early stages of the Championship season.
Sunderland could be in even worse position next summer as the team have found life in the Championship difficult. The Black Cats are currently fourth from bottom. Sunderland have obtained just six points from a possible 18.
Sunderland are paying for overspending in the past on players that didn’t pan out for the club. One such player was forward Ricky Alvarez, who despite hardly featuring for the team, the club were forced to shell out £10m to buy thanks to poor transfer negotiations by the club’s former hierarchy.
“I’m a football fan and I understand that supporters look at the money they know is coming in, and the money they see going out, and wonder what happened to the difference,” Sunderland director Martin Bain said.
“I recognise that we have sold players for a large amount of money and our spend is not commensurate with that.
“The truth is that every penny of the £33m that we received for Jordan Pickford and Vito Mannone has gone into the running of the club.
“Fans have not seen that money paid out on new players this summer, and the reason is that the money was already accounted for, primarily because of significant payments due this summer for players signed in previous seasons.
“Added to this, the club was obliged to pay £10m for Ricky Alvarez due to a deal that was done in 2014.
“We have had to cut costs at the club, with the biggest saving coming as a result of the 40 per cent pay cut the players took in the wake of relegation, which has helped reduce the wage bill from more than £80m two seasons ago, although it is still a fairly high wage bill for a club in the Championship.”
Will Sunderland suffer a second straight relegation?