Steve Bruce has praised Sunderland owner Ellis Short for the backing he has given the club.
The Irish-American businessman has bankrolled a summer rebuilding programme at the Stadium of Light, with £31million spent on fresh talent.
The likes of Darren Bent, Fraizer Campbell, Michael Turner, Lorik Cana and Lee Cattermole have all been brought in to bolster the Black Cats' numbers for sizeable fees.
Short is still keen, though, to run the club in a sensible fashion and has impressed upon Bruce and chairman Niall Quinn the need to balance the books.
That has led to the departures of the Dean Whitehead, Danny Collins, Grant Leadbitter and Carlos Edwards, but Bruce feels Sunderland are still in better shape than they were prior to Short's arrival.
"Since last Christmas, this club has lost something like 21 players and we have added seven; that shows we are getting the squad into a healthier position," he said.
"That wouldn't be possible without the owner we have here, who recognises the need to invest in order to improve the football club."