Money, money, money. That has been the mantra at Sunderland AFC in the last few years.
Despite years of continued relegations and failed promotion campaigns, the club have never been afraid to wave their wallets around.
Of course, this is a huge club, one playing well below what their facilities, stadium and history dictate.
They are a Premier League club in terms of their ground and training academy but they find themselves in England’s third tier, picking up the pieces of Ellis Short’s troubled reign and the shambolic state of affairs in the finance department.
The likes of Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven have tried to replicate things but having stayed in League One, they have found themselves needing to think about the sustainability of Sunderland in the long run.
That, you would think, would mean spending fewer sums of money. Of course, they have managed to make cuts but they have also spent where they haven’t needed to.
In 2019, Donald was priced out of a move for Will Grigg but ended up paying £4m for his services. He has scored just eight goals since and has played no part in improving the club. It’s a shame the way it’s worked out but it’s just a number of financial blunders the Black Cats have made over the last decade.
The biggest one that springs to mind is paying £70,000-a-week to Jack Rodwell. Of course, he walked through the door when Sunderland were still a Premier League outfit but he every quickly became a waste of money.
Rodwell stayed on those wages even when the club fell into the Championship but after taking a wage cut to around the £40,000 mark, he was still bleeding Short and Margaret Byrne dry.
Once he finally departed in 2018, the total transfer – one that initially cost £10m – was worth £22.7m accounting for his wages.
Not only was Rodwell a problem for Byrne but his contract saga was a big issue for Martin Bain, the ex-CEO of the football club.
Unfortunately, though, Sunderland now find themselves in a similar situation with Aiden McGeady. It’s thought that the Irishman is on £31k-a-week at the Stadium of Light which for a number of reasons defies belief.
First of all, this is now a League One club, and secondly, he’s not even playing – just like Rodwell.
With an EFL salary cap now introduced and Sunderland clearly needing new faces in January to take their promotion bid to the next level, McGeady is holding them back.
Sunderland couldn’t spend much in the final year of Rodwell’s contract because he was on such a meteoric sum of money. Donald and whoever their new owners are will ultimately face the same problem.
For the good of the player and Sunderland as an organisation and a football club, he needs to go.