Sunderland AFC named in world's top 100 for financial power but what is the reality facing Chris Coleman & Co?

Sunderland owner Ellis Short.
Sunderland owner Ellis Short.
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Sunderland are bottom of the Championship and in danger of a successive relegation, heightening the need for January recruits.

The Black Cats only spent £1.25million in the summer window, bringing in 10 players, a mix of loans, free agents and players signed for small sums.

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.

Sunderland manager Chris Coleman.

With January upon us, the focus is again on the transfer window.

Black Cats boss Chris Coleman and chief executive Martin Bain are fully aware of the desperate need for new recruits this month but loan signings will be the order of the day for cash-strapped Sunderland.

Coleman has already stressed that unless big assets are sold - the likes of Lamine Kone or Didier Ndong - then Sunderland won't make any permanent additions.

And even if some players were sold, Coleman only expects to be able to invest a fraction of the money raised.

It may have raised eyebrows then that Sunderland was this week unveiled as the 89th most financially powerful football club in the world despite their financial woes and relegation to the Championship.

The Soccerex Football Finance 100 study ranks the world's top teams based on a variety of factors.

The in-depth study looks at the playing assets, fixed assets (stadium, training centres and other properties), cash in the bank, owner potential investment and net debt.

Unsurprisingly, Manchester City, lead the way ahead of Arsenal with English clubs dominating the top 10. Tottenham are fifth on the list ahead of seventh-placed Manchester United, with Chelsea in ninth.

According to the study, Sunderland have fixed assets of £20million, while their playing assets are valued at £78million.

The report claims Sunderland have £36million cash in the bank and it also claims owner potential investment stands at £39million.

But the report also claims Sunderland have a net debt of a whopping £208million, though that is a far higher figure than the figure included in the club's accounts up to the end of July 2016 which was £110million.

The club's latest set of published accounts also revealed Sunderland made a loss after tax of £33million and their wages to turnover ratio was a huge 77.6 per cent.

Sunderland may have been identified as the 89th most financially powerful football club in the world but the reality isn't quite so bright.

Earlier this season, chief executive Martin Bain, spoke in depth about the financial problems.

A huge debt, vastly reduced but still high wage bill, significant legacy payments and a huge drop in revenue - especially in TV money - following relegation from the Premier League to the Championship all factors in Sunderland's inability to spend this month.

In September, Bain opened up to the Echo on the onerous financial obligations the Black Cats are still faced with when it comes to transfers concluded in previous years.

Specifically, Bain said the £30million raised by the sale of one of Sunderland’s finest ever homegrown talents has been used in part to pay money owed to other clubs for previous transfers, including the near £10million owed to Inter Milan after the club lost their case regarding the loan of Ricky Alvarez in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Bain said: "The income drop after relegation, from £100million to around £40million, 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.

"We’ve brought in £30million 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."

Owner Ellis Short continues to fund the club's shortfalls and Bain, speaking in September, added: "I’m sure that Ellis looks at the football club now and recognises that he’s made mistakes.

"He spent an awful lot and now wants to do things differently. We have to do things in a way where we can get steady growth and be more sustainable, so that we’re not being kneejerk in what we do.

"We couldn’t continue the way things have been in recent years but he is absolutely, categorically, still funding the club."

Not that Coleman is making any excuses, he knew what the situation was when he walked in the door at the Stadium of Light.

Coleman said: "Martin has always been honest with me. In our situation, when you know what could help us, but then you realise it is going to be non-runner because of the figures, that can be frustrating but I was expecting it.

"We’ve got players we could go for if players go out but at the moment we’re concentrating on the loan deals we can afford and trying to get those done."