Jack Rodwell has managed a grand total of three senior appearances for the club this season - just three. In those handful of minutes he did manage one futile goal against Sheffield United, but a mere three starts is nothing short of pathetic.
During that time, and indeed for several seasons before, Rodwell has been paid £70,000 per week for his services - an exorbitant sum of money to pay for someone so apparently unwilling to play football.
Even when players throughout the club were forced to accept reduced deals in the wake of relegation - as per the relegation clause in their contracts - Rodwell somehow managed to remain on his outrageous salary. Fans are rightly furious at the player and indeed the club for the terrible situation that remains - Rodwell doesn’t play, yet is paid a fortune by a club up to its eyeballs in debt.
In the wake of our article exploring League One finances, information yesterday found its way to Roker Report suggesting Rodwell’s £70k per week deal is set to be slashed next season. Rodwell’s relegation clause for whatever reason was delayed by a year, and as such will be realised whether we are relegated to League One or not.
Subsequently, Rodwell will no longer be earning £70k per week, but instead will find his income reduced by a figure close to 40%. Taking basic wages and a loyalty bonus (strong irony) into account, Rodwell will earn somewhere close to £40k per week.
Of course, this won’t ease many fans’ concerns as a seemingly undetectable player continues to collect an incredulous sum of money for not actually playing any football, but at least this could perhaps force the delusional Rodwell to move elsewhere in the search of regular football, a chance at cracking the England squad and the wage he truly deserves.
Looking at the deal, you have to say the entire Rodwell saga epitomises everything that has been wrong with Sunderland’s recruitment in recent times.
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but failing to include a relegation wage drop whilst offering an injury prone player such a long and lucrative deal shows just how shortsighted our dealings have been. Ultimately, it’s deals like this that have helped to plunge us into a Championship relegation battle that we look incapable of escaping from.
Furthermore, looking ahead to next season, Rodwell’s still inflated wage packet will continue to hurt the club should we find ourselves incapable of moving the former Everton and Manchester City prospect elsewhere. His £40k per week deal multiplied by the course of a year comes out to around £2,080,000 per season - a figure that would consume around 50% of most League One clubs’ wage budgets.
Subsequently, whilst the news that Rodwell will indeed lose a large chunk of his wages is a positive, the fact remains that he continues to be paid over the odds and can continue to collect said wages up until June 2019 if he wants. If we’re being brutally honest, the club cannot afford him in League One, and for the sake of our financial health Rodwell simply has to go.
I don’t think many fans will look back on his time at the club with fond memories, instead he will be remembered as something of a crocked leech that continued to siphon the club of its money and life whilst failing to do anything constructive whatsoever. Goodbye cannot come any sooner.