MARTIN BAIN has admitted that the £30m raised by the sale of Jordan Pickford has been used to help rectify previous mistakes – including the disastrous £10m purchase of Ricky Alvarez.

Sunderland posted debts of £110.4m in their most recent set of accounts, and manager Simon Grayson was only able to spend £1.25m on the signing of ten players this summer despite the club-record sale of Pickford to Everton.

Bain has confirmed a proportion of that income was used to pay off remaining instalments on previous signings, including £10m that was owed to Inter Milan for the purchase of Alvarez following a lengthy legal battle.

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“The income drop after relegation, from £100m to around £40m, has to be considered and so does the wage bill, which is still significant for this level, even though we have taken steps to reduce it,” said the Black Cats chief executive.

“We’ve brought in £30m for Jordan Pickford, but that is needed for the running of the club. Yes, that money comes in, but then you have to consider the money that went out on legacy transfer payments at the start of the summer.

“Added to that, we lose some of it when you consider Ricky Alvarez, a player we don’t have, a mistake from the past.”