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Fan Letters: Sunderland have to cut costs to further strengthen their squad - and here’s why...

RR reader Michael Clarke is concerned with Sunderland’s current transfer policy and the fact we may have to get rid of players to be able to strengthen. Is this the right way forward, or should Stewart Donald throw money at the problem? Email us:!

Danny Roberts

Dear Roker Report,

I first became very concerned with Stewart Donald’s ownership on the last day of the January transfer window.

If reports are to be believed he was chasing every known striker there was. The different names kept being mentioned every half hour by various sources.

Finally at 10.30pm ish the offer for Grigg was accepted as we all know. Just like a gambler who goes ‘all in’ or says ‘sh*t or bust’ Donald went for it. As we all know it didn’t pay off.

That’s why I believe for the current ownership it was championship at all costs, their one and only chance of hitting the jackpot.

Fast forward to where we as a club are now.

There’s no new investment, why not?

On the pod I’m sure I heard SD say we needed 6 to 8 players coming in and we didn’t have to sell Cattermole.?

Once Cattermole was off the pay role then surely that freed money up for these new players? Is there any money?

Now we hear from Jack Ross that it’s 1 out and 1 in. So exactly what state is the football club in under Donald’s Stewardship?

It’s all very well telling fans to be patient but the clock is ticking and we have been here too many times in the past.

Will the new players be in before the team depart to Portugal. Lots of local journos and media outlets seem to think they should be.

My faith in Sunderland is never ending but under Stewart Donald and others there’s not much faith left.

Michael Clarke

Ed’s Note [Gav]: Whilst I can understand your logic in your thinking about how we spend last January, I don’t agree that it was done in the knowledge we couldn’t afford to not go up. We could, but if we didn’t it meant further cost cutting - which is why Cattermole is gone, and several others will follow over the ensuing weeks to come.

You have to remember what the club are paying certain players. Duncan Watmore is on around £20k a week, Donald Love is on £8k a week, Bryan Oviedo is on £46k a week - these are wages that no club playing third tier football should be paying. We have to comply with FFP regulations, and SCMP - whereby we’re only allowed to spend 55% of our turnover without facing embargoes and points deductions.

Sunderland have to get these big wages off the books to not only stave off the regulators but also make room on the wage bill to bring players in. That just makes economical sense and we might be in for a tough few weeks whereby we have to wait to shift a few out in order to make the improvements to our squad that can really help us to kick on.

I also believe that, as a result of this, we’ll see a bigger focus placed on utilising the youth in Sunderland’s ranks. We have two England youth internationals and a Sweden U23 international waiting for their chances to impress, along with others like Denver Hume and Ethan Robson. They’ll get chances this coming season, and they may come as a consequence of us not signing new players who also play into their positions in the team.

In short - the failure to get promoted means we have to get ourselves back into shape financially in order to make alterations to our playing squad. With a lack of significant TV money helping to cover those costs, we have to be sensible - just like every other club in this division.

Dear Roker Report,

I’ve been a supporter since 1965 and whilst a long distance fan (South African), I have remained faithful through the dark recent years.

The current situation is a concern and I have depressing visions of seeing my side in the lower tiers of English football for some years to come.

It’s about time some quality players were acquired to avoid ending up as an average lower league team.

Graham Gerrard

Ed’s Note [Gav]: We already have a good basis to build from with the quality we already have. Add to that the youngsters who are now first team ready, and it doesn’t look so bad. We need to add another 5 or 6 quality players in my view, but the situation is nowhere near as desperate as some would have you believe.

In my opinion, of course!

Sunderland v Coventry City - Sky Bet League One Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Fans are nervous about very little transfer activity, but Jack Ross took on the job with a team that he didn’t know a lot about. I think he would like to offload a few and slowly bring in his own men, but in my opinion it’s not a bad team at the moment - the likes of Charlie Wyke and Will Grigg need to step up a gear, and we have Duncan Watmore. I think we will do well. Unfortunately if jack doesn’t get to the top of the league by Christmas, his job will on the line.

Maybe Bali Mumba and young Kimpioka should be brought in to the first team.

Alan Fenwick

Ed’s Note [Gav]: As I’ve said in one of the replies above, Alan, I think we’ll see the side look naturally towards youth because a) we simply cannot ignore our most talented youngsters and b) it’s more cost-effective to do so.

Let’s hope that all of the young players who are waiting for an opportunity can make an impact in the first team and go on to be important figures in this side as we have a successful campaign!

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