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Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

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Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  cyprussyd on 2018-06-15, 9:57 am

This month, Sunderland will submit a financial forecast to the EFL. In it will detail their current player expenditure, essentially their full salary costs, and their predicted turnover for the season. 


It is significant because it underlines the context to a relatively slow start to their summer transfer business. Financial Fair Play does not apply to League One clubs but they are bound by the Salary Cost Management Protocol (or SCMP). It is another factor that underpins what manager Jack Ross has described as a ‘juggling act’ when it comes to recruitment. 


Off the pitch, the new regime have moved with remarkable speed to overhaul the club’s management structure and get to grips with the challenge left by the Ellis Short era. Stewart Donald On the pitch, progress has been a little slower and, as of yet, the only confirmed business is the departure of a crop of players whose contracts were imminently set to expire. That has understandably created a certain level of unease amongst the Sunderland support, who have seen so many seasons flop before they’ve truly begun, a consequence of late and rushed transfer business. 


Unquestionably, new boss Ross would want as much of his squad in place as early as possible, but the former St Mirren manager fully understood the situation he was taking on when accepting the job. Before significant incoming business can be done, some of the bigger earners will have to be moved on. The Black Cats have around nine players whose wages are largely unrealistic for League One level. It is not a cash flow issue, meaning Sunderland are literally unable to invest before bringing money in, but a question of keeping the books and the squad balanced. 


To begin with, Ross can still not be absolutely sure which players he will be working with at the start of the new campaign. While chairman Stewart Donald has said that very few players have expressed a desire to stay at the club for the League One campaign, and there are certainly plenty keen to leave, there are some who Ross may still hope he can convince to stay. From a squad perspective, then, he is averse to overloading certain positions with a raft of players. In some areas, reinforcements are definitely required. Strikers are an obvious necessity, and it is telling that the club were willing to commit a seven-figure fee on Florian Kamberi, a young Swiss player who it was felt could deliver in League One and would build a significant sell-on value. 


After the departures of John O’Shea and Marc Wilson, centre-half is also a position where reinforcements are needed. Ross is confident that he will make some signings before pre-season begins on June 27, but it is inevitable that some business will only unfold once he gets a better sense of his players and whether they will fit in to his style of management and football. Financially, Donald has been clear that he can sustain the club’s running costs and big earning players from the Premier League era are a part of that. SCMP rules, however, mean that League One clubs can only spend 60% of their predicted turnover on player wages. Sunderland, as a club relegated from the Championship last season, have a period of grace for one campaign whereby that threshold is raised to 75%. For context, their last accounts released publicly, covering the 2016/17 season, showed that Sunderland spent around 66% of their turnover on wages. 


Their wage bill has been brought down considerably since then, but so has their revenue. TV income in the third tier is paltry and Sunderland’s parachute payment from the Premier League will be around £10 million less than last season. While some players, mostly those who signed deals or joined the club in the last year, will see their wages automatically drop as a result of the second relegation, some will not. Unlike FFP, which is conducted retrospectively, SCMP is an ongoing process throughout the season and any club in excess of their allowance can be placed under a transfer embargo. Such an occurrence is a rarity and Sunderland are not under serious threat as it stands, but it does clearly mean that they cannot commit vast sums on wages before some room is created. In truth, this part was always going to be the biggest challenge for the new regime. 


Sunderland’s outgoings can broadly be split into three categories. There are those whose departure on good terms for the club seem almost inevitable, if not yet quite certain. Wahbi Khazri would come into that category. Then there are those who Sunderland would like to keep but who could command a fee that would allow significant reinvestment, a move that might be savvy if the player intimates they wish to leave. Then there are the ones whose wages are a major issue and who other clubs will be reluctant to take on. It is going to be a long process, but there is optimism that it can be achieved and behind the scenes there has been some encouragement regarding interest in players in the third category. For now, patience is a virtue and the hope is that by the time pre-season begins, the picture will be a little clearer for Jack Ross and the Sunderland support.

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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  Kipper on 2018-06-15, 11:23 am

Thanks for posting that article. It's problematic but at least it's not the club being crap.
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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  cyprussyd on 2018-06-15, 4:34 pm

Stewart Donald says that there is a lot happening behind the scenes at Sunderland as the club embarks on a difficult squad rebuild. The Black Cats are eager to move on a number of high-earning players ahead of the new campaign and so will have have to do a large amount of incoming business. 


Former goalkeeper Tony Coton was confirmed as the club's new head of recruitment last week and alongside management team Jack Ross and James Fowler, has drawn up a list of transfer targets. The club missed out on talented Swiss striker Florian Kamberi as Hibernian exercised an option to buy clause in his loan deal, but Donald said that offers for other players are in place. 


Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained and the financial rules they have to satisfy He wrote on twitter: "I would be pretty sure at this stage of the transfer window less than 10 percent of player signings have been made - there are still lots of players on holiday and hundreds still available. The player movements will start soon I am sure. We have offers out and lots of targets!" 


Donald also had short shrift for suggestions that Turkish side Besiktas are preparing a two-year loan deal for Wahbi Khazri. With Khazri's Sunderland contract expiring at that stage, it would essentially be a free transfer. Donald said on twitter: "Unless we get a decent fee he will be back here playing!!" Khazri is being tracked by a number of French clubs after a successful season with Stade Rennais. He is expected to be fit for Tunisia's opening World Cup game with England on Monday.

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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  Hieronymus on 2018-06-16, 8:25 am

Thanks, that actually explains a lot. Haven't had much time to think about Sunderland lately but had noticed we have not made any signings and no one has yet been sold on. But it is early days and the financial stuff in this article makes sense.
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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  sunderpitt on 2018-06-16, 8:59 am

IMHO which I may have mentioned before.. is that some of the wantaways/agents may be trying it on and asking for the payment of their contracted wages before they bugger off. I suspect management line is hand in a transfer request and if the fee is high enough you can leave, otherwise you are playing at Sunderland next season. It may be we shall do a lot of business last few days of the window. Cos until we know who is out we cannot say for all positions who we want.

We do however need strikers  and CBs whatever happens

Ps back from Scotland
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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  cyprussyd on 2018-06-16, 9:13 am

sunderpitt wrote:IMHO which I may have mentioned before.. is that some of the wantaways/agents may be trying it on and asking for the payment of their contracted wages before they bugger off. I suspect management line is hand in a transfer request and if the fee is high enough you can leave, otherwise you are playing at Sunderland next season. It may be we shall do a lot of business last few days of the window. Cos until we know who is out we cannot say for all positions who we want.

We do however need strikers  and CBs whatever happens

Ps back from Scotland
Been on a scouting trip, who did you bring back?

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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  sunderpitt on 2018-06-16, 9:39 am

cyprussyd wrote:
sunderpitt wrote:IMHO which I may have mentioned before.. is that some of the wantaways/agents may be trying it on and asking for the payment of their contracted wages before they bugger off. I suspect management line is hand in a transfer request and if the fee is high enough you can leave, otherwise you are playing at Sunderland next season. It may be we shall do a lot of business last few days of the window. Cos until we know who is out we cannot say for all positions who we want.

We do however need strikers  and CBs whatever happens

Ps back from Scotland
Been on a scouting trip, who did you bring back?

Unfortunately the only thing I came back with was two toys for the grandkids from the RNLI shop in Anstruther 

The papers were all full of Scotland beating England at cricket and very very little about England and the World Cup strange that   Cool
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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  sunderpitt on 2018-06-17, 1:29 pm

Just passed the AoL not a lot going on.. only a few cars parked there
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Re: Sunderland’s slow transfer start explained

Post  cyprussyd on 2018-06-17, 2:01 pm

sunderpitt wrote:Just passed the AoL not a lot going on.. only a few cars parked there
Players not back for a few weeks so I would only expect a few cars with work being done inside.

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