Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Short-Changed by Millionaires

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Short-Changed by Millionaires

Article excerpt

Byline: ByPaul Gilder

Bob Murray last night rounded on the millionaire misfits who sat and watched Sunderland slide out of the Premiership - and revealed that he is still waiting for an apology from the players.

The Black Cats chairman is seething at the nature of the club's relegation and, having underlined his determination to stay and turn things around at the Stadium of Light, will today embark on the first in a series of meetings in a bid to offload the players he blames for a season of shame.

Several members of the squad have already been told that they won't be welcome when Sunderland report back for the start of pre-season training on July 2.

And, although Murray is confident that he will be able to prevent the Wearside club from falling into administration, he admits that financial security will hinge largely on his ability to wield the axe successfully over the course of the next few weeks.

"On Sunday I wasn't so much looking at the players on the field, I was looking at those who weren't playing," he said. "I was looking at players who earn pounds 1m a year or more, players who were sitting in the stands.

"There has to be a massive culture change here. We have the seventh highest wage bill in the Premiership and the third biggest crowd. We have spent a lot of money on our facilities and pounds 22m on players. But we succeeded in getting half the number of points West Ham managed and that can't be right.

"Whilst I take full responsibility for that, when the players get to the end of their careers they have got to look back and admit that they were part of it. I hope they think long and hard about the contribution they made.

"They have to look at the season and admit they were part of that squad. Maybe they played, maybe they didn't. Maybe they were injured, they had a twinge or they didn't like living in the North-East. Maybe it was the manager's fault - it's always the manager's fault, of course.

"They are part of a club which spent an enormous amount of money on transfers and wages but which succeeded in breaking every record in the book for all the wrong reasons.

"I feel that everybody has been short-changed, nobody more than the supporters. …

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