SUNDERLAND are operating well within the parameters set out by the EFL’s Financial Fair Play rules and are under no pressure to sell this summer in order to be able to invest.

Championship clubs follow the EFL’s Profit and Sustainability rules, which dictate the maximum losses that are permitted over a rolling three-year period, and a number have either fallen foul of the regulations or in danger of breaching the rules in the next 12 months.

Sheffield United will start the new season on minus two points, with a deduction of a further two points suspended, after defaulting on payments to other clubs during their promotion-winning season in 2022-23.



Hull chairman Acun Ilicali yesterday admitted that his club’s summer spending would have to be seriously curtailed in order to comply with FFP rules, while Leeds United have been spearheading a campaign to change the regulations in order to allow greater financial flexibility.

Sunderland are in a much stronger financial position, with their most recent accounts for the year ending July 2023 showing a relatively minor annual operating loss of £9m. As a result, while there is ongoing interest in the likes of Jobe Bellingham and Jack Clarke, the Black Cats are not in a position where they need to sell in order to avoid any future penalties.

“I can categorically say there is no financial pressure through any of the regulations or anything like that that would force us to sell a player,” said Sunderland sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.

“I think with our strategy, and the way that we've approached running the club, we can out-compete those teams that constantly cycle into trouble. We believe that by developing each year and improving each year, we'll be able to reach our goals.”




Since taking over at the Stadium of Light, Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has attempted to operate a sustainable financial model that does not require vast shareholder investment.

A statement accompanying the most recent accounts read: “Kyril Louis-Dreyfus has led the club on a strategy to create a sustainable business that aims to return to the Premier League. We continue to strive to win promotion as a club that aims to be financially sustainable.”

The drive to sign young, relatively inexperienced players who can be developed and improved within the first-team group is part of that model, with Sunderland avoiding the kind of ‘boom-and-bust’ recruitment approach that has plunged some of their Championship rivals into financial trouble.

“Naturally, we want to grow and get stronger,” explained Speakman. “But I think for clubs that have come under FFP, PNS issues, they have had to dispose of players and it's difficult, isn't it, to get that constant progression.

“And you've seen what can happen over a number of years. I think Huddersfield are probably a really good example, which is not good for them, but they're in the play-offs one year and then they’re relegation candidates the next and then they eventually get relegated.”