Papy Djilobodji saga finally reaches a conclusion as Sunderland confirm agreement with defender

Sunderland have reached an agreement that sees Papy Djilobodji's time at the club come to an end.

Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 4:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th November 2018, 4:54 pm
Papy Djilobodji has left Sunderland

A club statement reads: "Sunderland AFC has reached an agreement with Papy Djilobodji for his departure, his employment having terminated on 21 September 2018."

Sunderland served Djilobodji notice on his contract in September after the player failed to return for training.

He had been given leave of absence for the month of July to secure a move away from Wearside but that did not materialise and when he eventually returned in September, the club said he 'comprehensively failed' a fitness test.

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Djilobodji will not be able to sign for a new club until January, as he becomes a free agent after the closing of the summer window.

It is a boost for Sunderland who had expected and budgeted for the players to leave long before now.

As Charlie Methven told the Echo last month, it does not clear room for significant January spending.

"In terms of January, in this division, we have SCMP rather than FFP," Methven said.

"When we came in, the football league said, 'look, on technical grounds, because of your parachute payment, you could spend vast sums [on wages] and still say within SCMP grounds.

"But we can see from looking at your books that it would bankrupt you, because the parachute payments are already required for these black holes'.

"So we had to sign off on an FFI (Future Financial Information agreement), which was our business plan and included how we would bring our finances under control. Two of the assumptions in that were that Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong would leave the club.

"So them leaving does not mean there is money to spend in January. For us to be able to bring in more players, our current wage outgoings will have to be reduced. It is as simple as that."

However, improving revenues does mean that Stewart Donald believes he will be in a position to back Jack Ross to do some crucial business ahead of the final months of the season.

And crucially, the new regime will believe they have successfully taken a stand and set a precedent for the future.

Shortly after the announcement, Donald took to twitter to say: "Today has been my favourite day as Sunderland AFC custodian, excluding match days of course."