When Two Player Signings Ruined A Football Club | JFC Sports
Sunderland is one of the most prolific of the so-called yo-yo clubs in the Premier League era, but for nearly a decade the iconic red and white striped football team kits had an incredibly consistent run of form in English Football’s top flight.
This run of form bitterly ended as the result of two of the most damaging player signings that may have ever been seen in football’s highest echelons, both of which in their own way caused the Black Cats to fall down the English football pyramid, only recently finding their way back into the EFL Championship and both related to each other tangentially.
The story begins with Jack Rodwell, a promising young player for Everton who technically won a Premier League title with Manchester City in 2013/14 despite playing in just five Premier League matches.
He moved to Sunderland on a £10m transfer during a time when the club were in complete shambles, constantly hiring and firing managers and relying on the new manager bump to stay out of the relegation zone.
He had one of the most infamous runs of bad luck ever, going 39 consecutive games and over three years without winning a single match he was in, and his £70,000 a week salary became increasingly untenable as Sunderland was continually relegated and faced financial turmoil.
This was not helped by the subsequent signing of Ricky Alverez for the 2015/16 season in one of the most comical cases of an accidental signing ever.
Initially a loan move from Inter Milan, a clause in the loan contract stipulated that Sunderland had to buy Mr Alverez from the Serie A club for €10.5m if they managed to avoid relegation.
Thanks to the work of professional football escape artist Sam Allardyce just before his infamous 67 days and one match as the England National Team boss, Sunderland was cursed with a great escape and despite spending years in court, could not avoid paying for a player they would never use.
Sunderland would take over five years to start rebounding.