Dion Sanderson to Sunderland: Why financial fair play rules won't scupper potential deal for £2m-rated Wolves ace

Sunderland's summer interest in Dion Sanderson has certainly got fans talking - with plenty excited about what could be a statement signing.

Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 5:00 am

But plenty were curious as to how League One’s financial controls could affect the proposed seven-figure deal.

While the Black Cats have reportedly seen an opening bid of around £1million knocked back by Wolves, the Premier League side are understood to be willing to do business at a fee of around £2million.

That would rank Sanderson among one of the most expensive signings in League One history, but will the division’s financial fair play rules scupper any potential deal?

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Dion Sanderson to Sunderland: Why financial fair play rules won't scupper potential deal for £2m-rated Wolves ace
Dion Sanderson to Sunderland: Why financial fair play rules won't scupper potential deal for £2m-rated Wolves ace

The short answer is no.

After the abolishment of the controversial £2.5million salary cap earlier this year, clubs are set to be governed by the old Salary Cost Management Protocol (SCMP) regulations during the 2021/22 season.

This limits clubs to spending 60 per cent of their turnover on player wages, which has natural advantages for a club of Sunderland’s stature whose turnover is among the largest in the division.

But crucially in this instance, the SCMP regulations do not govern how much clubs can spend on transfer fees.

Sunderland, therefore, could spend any amount of money on a transfer fee without falling foul of the financial controls at play.

But when it comes to negotiating wages with the player concerned, then they will have to be wary of the SCMP ceiling.

The club will also have to be wary of the squad cap that could be enforced next season.

It’s important to note at this point that nothing has been concretely agreed, but The Portsmouth News have reported that there is a favoured option among League One clubs moving forward.

That option would see clubs allowed to register 22 outfield players for the 2021/22 season – with goalkeepers and players under the age of 21 not included in that number.

Previous plans would have seen clubs limited to registering 20 first-team players, inclusive of goalkeepers, so this is a big improvement in that regard.

These proposals are understood to be broadly supported by clubs, according to The News, but are yet to be finalised and approved.

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