Black Cats' finances leap
Sunderland have reported healthy financial figures following their return to the Premier League. The latest published figures show the club's turnover more than doubled to £63.5million for the year ending 31st July 2008 as opposed to the £26.2million recorded during their last season in the Championship. These figures were boosted massively by earnings from television and other media, which rose to £35.63million, up from just under £8million during the previous campaign. Increased gate receipts also contributed £13.64million, a significant rise on the previous season's figure of just over £9million. Wage billWhile the club's wage bill increased markedly from £21million to £32.8million, this amounted to around the recommended level of 50 per cent of turnover. The increased turnover helped the club reduce a loss of £13.66million in 2007 to £2.3million for the year. Since the figures were filed, the club has sold Dickson Etuhu and Danny Higginbotham to Fulham and Stoke respectively, while signing Anton Ferdinand, David Healy and George McCartney. The document which accompanies them also acknowledges Ellis Short's arrival at the Stadium of Light to take a controlling interest in the club. Buy outIrish-American tycoon Short has since pushed through his plan to buy out the Drumaville consortium put together by chairman Niall Quinn to acquire the club in 2006. The figures will not go unnoticed by the Black Cats' neighbours on Tyneside, where owner Mike Ashley is currently looking for a buyer after presiding over the club's slide into the Championship. They have done so with a wage bill which amounts to more than 70 per cent of their turnover and with their income certain to plummet over the next 12 months, they will have little choice but to offload some, if not all, of their highest earners.
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