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Sunderland's plight

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It is difficult to see how Sunderland are going to escape relegation.   Even in the old days of Division 1 and Division 2, Sunderland were a yo-yo club, but the financial consequences these days are more serious, not least for the staff who face redundancy.

Ellis Short, who is trying to sell the club, bought it for £22m.  The club has not made a profit since 2006, way before Short arrived.   Short has lent the club £160m during his tenure interest free, £100m of which he wrote off.   Total debts are £140m.   Sunderland owe money to Short and a private banking company, with a £6m annual interest payment.

Other clubs with less good catchment areas have managed to consolidate in the Premier League. Sunderland spent £250m on players between 2008 and 2015.   Sunderland made a profit on only three out of 46 players they bought.

Relegation might lead to a sale and the opportunity to rebuild, but a long-term plan is needed.