In a feature on the salaries paid to footballers in Ligue 1, French newspaper L’Equipe have suggested Sunderland are still paying a percentage of the wages paid to Wahbi Khazri and Papy Djilobodji, despite chief executive Martin Bain claiming the Black Cats are not contributing anything towards the deals for the club’s loaned out players.
The report says Sunderland are contributing €40,000 per month towards the wages of Wahbi Khazri who is on loan at Rennes until the end of the season and €100,000 per month in the case of Papy Djilobodji, who is with FCO Dijon.
That’s 22-percent of Khazri’s salary and over 60-percent of the pay Djilobodji takes home every month, despite Black Cats chief Bain clearly stating in September that the wages of each loaned out player are being covered in full by the clubs at which they’re spending this campaign.
The Sunderland CEO - in an interview with the Evening Chronicle on September 18th 2017 - said:
The wages of all of the players who have gone on loan are being paid in full by the clubs they have joined.
Letting players leave, initially on loan, who weren’t part of the plans moving forward also allowed us to generate funds for a certain transfer spend ourselves, by removing them from the wage bill.
Khazri has played 13 games in Ligue 1 for Stade Rennais and Djilobodji has turned out 16 times for FCO Dijon in the league.
Essentially then, someone is mistaken - either the Sunderland CEO or the French national newspaper. But the revelation does beg the question of whether the deals for the Black Cats other loaned out players contain similar arrangements.
Jeremain Lens returned to Turkey last summer to spend this term on loan with Besiktas and Fabio Borini landed a plum move to AC Milan. Martin Bain suggested both of those deals contain clauses which will almost certainly mean each player’s move becomes permanent at the end of the season.
Reports have continued to claim however that the arrangements for Khazri and for Djilobodji contain no automatic purchase option, which may mean both players will return to the Stadium of Light this summer.
And record-signing Didier Ndong became the latest big-money purchase to be allowed to leave Wearside on loan, joining Watford on transfer deadline day until the end of the Premier League campaign.
With Sunderland remaining stuck in the Championship relegation places, pressure is growing on Bain after another dismal transfer window in which the Black Cats spent barely a penny.
Ndong, Lens, Khazri, Djilobodji and Borini may not have set the world alight in the Premier League, but surely retaining all - or some - of Sunderland’s big money purchases would have given the club a fair chance of performing far better than they have this season. Especially if the Black Cats are still forking out chunks of their pay.