Malcolm Dawson writes… …this afternoon’s announcement that the club has served notice on Didier Ndong has surely come as no surprise. The club’s record signing who stated his intention not to play for the club again could surely not have expected to be taken back into the fold after a five month no show. His return to Wearside over the weekend was perhaps the last throw of the dice for a player who must have lost at least £600,000 in wages after the club had rightly refused to pay him and on seeing the closure of the Portugese transfer window realised that he would be losing up to a £1 million and maybe more.
From Sunderland’s perspective, although I am sure that there are legal implications still impacting on their recruitment policy, officially getting him, together with Papi Djilobodji off the payroll, will make meeting Financial Fair Play requirements that much easier.
One can feel no sympathy for either of these players, both of whom reportedly had opportunities to sign for new clubs over the summer, which failed to materialise for whatever reason. How much the players’ own greed or that of their agents affected these decisions I have no idea, but I applaud the new regime in charge of SAFC for their stance and their refusal to cow tow (kowtow/ kau tau / khàu-thâu) to these two and their representatives.
What now for the two? I don’t know and I don’t really care. It is suggested the club will be looking to recoup some of the lost income they might have got from the sale of these players, although the costs involved in pursuing such a case through legal channels may prove to be prohibitive and I have no doubt the players and their representatives are considering counter action against the club.
They can surely have no case and the club can point to the way they have honoured their contracts with Cattermole and Oviedo, who are still on Premiership wages and to Kone and Khazri, who were both allowed to move on favourable terms.
We await developments. Meantime here is the club statement in full (courtesy of www.safc.com)….
Sunderland AFC has given notice under its contract with Didier Ndong. The player, who was under contract with the club until June 2021, failed to return to Sunderland for pre-season training in July as scheduled, nor in the subsequent months that followed. No reason was given for his failure to report and continued absence.
As a result, the club has accepted Didier Ndong’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player. Sunderland AFC does so whilst retaining the right to pursue the player and any club he may subsequently join in relation to compensation for the value of the player.