Dick Advocaat has blasted the money wasted on “lower than average” players by his Sunderland predecessors.
Sunderland’s modest outlay of £21.5million on new players this summer has prompted criticism from supporters, considering the club have recouped £9m from the sale of Connor Wickham.
People who bought those kind of players for those transfer fees and gave them those salaries didn’t care about the club.
But while head coach Advocaat is desperate for further investment before Tuesday’s transfer deadline, Sunderland’s spending has been restricted by the money wasted in the transfer market over recent seasons.
Sunderland are still paying out instalments on transfer fees for players who have either left the club, or who remain on the books and are not part of Advocaat’s plans.
And after delving into Sunderland’s history over recent weeks, Advocaat admits he has been stunned by some of the figures involved on both transfer fees and wages.
Advocaat explained: “We had a big past here and I know a little bit about the salary of players - average players, lower than average players and that’s crazy.
“People who bought those kind of players for those transfer fees and gave them those salaries didn’t care about the club.
“And then I can understand our owner when he thinks ‘I spent a fortune’ and now where are they playing or not playing?
“I can totally understand him.
“Supporters have to understand that before you can have a new start, you have to get rid.”
While Advocaat has sympathy for Short, he equally appreciates the frustration among Sunderland supporters after seeing three successive years of relegation battles and a largely scatter-gun approach to incoming players.
The likes of Swansea and Southampton have both overtaken the Black Cats in the Premier League pecking order, despite shorter stints in the top flight.
But Advocaat believes that has been down to the difficulties of long-term planning, when remaining in the Premier League has been the only immediate consideration.
“(The frustration of supporters) has to do with the last three or four years,” he added.
“Take an example in Swansea. They were almost bankrupt, but they had ideas - how to set up a club.
“We have no time to do that because if you see what the other teams are spending compared with us, that is also a concern.
“But I know a little bit what we’re paying now and what still has to be paid.”