Sunderland’s financial despair certainly didn’t begin and end with the Jack Rodwell saga.
The Black Cats finally shifted the man once tipped as a future England captain and his obscene £70k-a-week wage demands off their books this summer.
Rodwell’s decline correlated with the Mackems drastic fall from grace but, following back to back relegations into the desolate wasteland of League One, the demons remain despite his exit.
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This week Papy Djilobodji – once of Chelsea fame – finally reported to training 72 days late after proposed deals with Trabzonspor, Bordeaux and Hannover fell through.
Sunderland are considering sacking the defender and are pursuing a number of legal options to avoid paying him during his absence.
He’s not the only one either.
Their club-record signing Didier Ndong, who joined for £13.6m two years ago whilst they were still a Premier League side, had the audacity to post a poolside Instagram photo this week when he should also be at training.
So we did some digging around to try and get to grips with the economic plight facing one of the most well supported clubs in the country.
- How do you go from future England captain to four years without winning a game?
- How did the future England captain end up without a club at 30-years-old?
- Sunderland keep popping up everywhere you look at the 2018 World Cup
Djilobodji and Ndong are still technically earning £33k-a-week and £25k-a-week despite their respective disappearing acts.
Club captain Lee Cattermole – the man with as many league red cards as goals throughout his career – has taken a pay cut in the third tier to take home £40k-a-week.
Bryan Oviedo was afforded brief respite at the World Cup with Costa Rica this summer, but by day he’s still pocketing £25k-a-week in League One, a division he declared he “would not like to play in” on the eve of their relegation last season.
And Aiden McGeady, a man with his own skill move on FIFA, earns a reported £31k-a-week despite failing to make a single appearance this season.
To put that in some context, Joe Gomez and Alex Iwobi – both Premier League regulars for Liverpool and Arsenal respectively – are earning less at a reported £30k-a-week each.
To hammer home their predicament even further, the average Championship wage is between £7.5k-a-week and £8.5k-a-week.
Sunderland are, to all intents and purposes, doing their utmost to shift the deadwood but with the transfer window closing many are facing months in limbo.
They now face a real slog in an unforgiving league with a number of players who could cause tensions within the camp.
The Black Cats have started the season promisingly, but there’s a long way to go to restore the pride their fans deserve on Wearside.
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