SUNDERLAND chief executive Margaret Byrne says Martin O’Neill will be under no pressure to sell in the summer.
The Black Cats posted their latest financial figures that illustrate a turnover-to-wages-ratio that the club want to reduce to around 60% from the current figure of 76%.
That should not impact unduly on O’Neill’s plans in the summer with the club insistent that it will be his “prerogative” what happens at the end of the season.
“No, we don't have to sell players in the summer, definitely not, it is just about doing smarter deals,” said Byrne. “You don't want to sell players. We sold Jordan (Henderson) at what was the right time for us, and the players we brought in from selling Jordan have had a heck of a lot of influence on the team.
“We brought in Seb Larsson on a free, Craig Gardner in for £5million, Wes Brown in for £1 million and John O'Shea was £5million. Selling at the right time and getting players in at the right time is key.
“Ultimately it is the manager's prerogative. He might see raw talent in someone.
“It was the calmest January I have had since I have been here. It was 100 per cent Martin’s decision. The morning of transfer deadline day we were very close to signing a player but it didn’t come off and rather than panic and look at other players, Martin was just, 'nah forget it.’
“We have definitely made a lot of progress in the last 12 months but our aim is to keep pushing on and keep doing better deals on and off the pitch to make us more financially sound, that’s the ultimate aim.
“We want to get the right calibre of player in. We have a really good scouting network and every week we have hundreds of games being looked at. It's a case of finding the right player.”