Words of wisdom from Sunderland’s Chief Executive for Mike Ashley.

Nobody should ignore the reality just because of the identity of the messenger, nor the fact this isn’t a recent quote.

Sunderland’s Chief Executive Margaret Byrne had this to say back in March 2013:

“We will be reporting another big loss this year.

“We don’t want to do that, but we’ve taken a decision not to sell our best players.”

Relegation model:

“We had lots of offers in the summer that would certainly have put us in a much better position but Ellis (Short – Sunderland owner) said that we’re not selling them.

“Of course you could be a profitable club and sell your best players, but it’s a relegation model. We want to keep our assets and not sell them.”

Sunderland of course aren’t a great success story but their problems appear to stem from a series of bad managerial decisions and their previous Director of Football, rather than a lack of money being spent and/or any absence of ambition.

However, Sunderland did then go on to sell their best player (goalkeeper Mignolet) and top striker (Sessegnon) so possibly they need to heed their own Chief Exec’s words as well.

In Newcastle’s case, the massive problems come about because of two main reasons.

A refusal by Mike Ashley to allow money to be spent on a big enough squad to get through any particular season, plus the fact that Newcastle make it patently clear that any player will be sold if they get a big enough offer

When it comes to what happens each summer at Newcastle United I think there is only one easy general strategy that you need to follow, keep hold of your best players and replace your weaker ones with better quality.