Sunderland born to run towards profit


Michel Platini probably never realised his desire for Financial Fair Play would take Bruce Springsteen to Sunderland, but the quest for clubs fighting to join Europe's elite is to open new revenue streams, and quickly.

Sunderland yesterday revealed accounts up to July 2011 that showed turnover up by a fifth to almost £80m, and an operating loss down 72 per cent, to £7.8m.

Platini's drive for FFP has effectively called clubs to explore every source of income, in order to keep their accounts within the new guidelines. Thus Springsteen will play the Stadium of Light this summer, on 21 June.

"We had five concerts last year so that helps to boost our turnover and we have three more this year," said Margaret Byrne, Sunderland's chief executive. "We have to keep our wages structured and realistic or we would never be able to achieve FFP. It means we have to be a bit smarter in the transfer market. Selling at the right time and getting players in at the right time is the key. No, we don't have to sell players in the summer, definitely not, it is just about doing smarter deals.

"We have formed a new company called 1879 Events Management. It is basically going out and using our expertise from the concerts, our stewarding, our catering, and pitching for events in the North-east and then in the whole of England.

"On the pitch Martin O'Neill is doing everything he can to get everything he can from the players and we are doing exactly the same off it."