Pay­ing up is food for thought

Sunderland Echo - - Opinion - By Richard Ord

The Black Cats may have been liv­ing in the lap of lux­ury these last few sea­sons – but it seems their paws are now firmly back on the ground.

The reve­la­tion by new SAFC’sman­ager Jack Ross that the first team squad now pay for their own meals at the club’s Academy of Light train­ing base is in­dica­tive of the changes, not just fi­nan­cial, sweep­ing what was once a bloated Premier League club.

Sun­der­land have had to cut costs across the board fol­low­ing suc­ces­sive rel­e­ga­tions but Ross said he was keen to bring in this change as it was com­mon prac­tice at his pre­vi­ous clubs and boosted morale.

And the man­ager in­sists there were no com­plaints when the changes were made fol­low­ing his sum­mer ap­point­ment, with the first team also happy to help cover the cost of their younger academy team-mates.

“It is is fairly com­mon place at most clubs, cer­tainly has been at the clubs I have worked at – both as a player and as a man­ager.

“We tweaked that this year [at Sun­der­land] and there were no com­plaints, if you eat in a restau­rant then you un­der­stand why. You get value for money in that sense.

“The play­ers took that on board no prob­lem and the fact they have helped out the younger lads, the U18s with some of that cost, is good.

“Some­times it is some­thing peo­ple don’t al­ways see – play­ers aren’t all that bad, hon­estly!”

It may be a small item to high­light but it is re­fresh­ing to see a down-to-earth ap­proach at an in­sti­tu­tion that over the last few years had ob­vi­ously lost touch with real­ity.

Of course suc­cess on the field is ul­ti­mately what mat­ters, but it is still nice to read about play­ers who re­gard it as an hon­our to play for a club with a mas­sive fan­base, great stadium and first-class fa­cil­i­ties rather than the other way round.

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