Freedom! Jack Rodwell leaves Sunderland after £70,000-a-week contract is cancelled

By Jack Beresford

June 27, 2018

Jack Rodwell’s disastrous spell with Sunderland is finally over after the 27-year-old successfully negotiated a release from his £70,000-a-week Black Cats contract.

Once tipped as a future England captain, Rodwell arrived at the Stadium of Light back in 2014 with then-manager Gustavo Poyet shelling out £10 million on the midfielder.

Seen as something of a bargain at the time, the former Everton prospect wasted little time in proving that particular assessment wrong with a string of anonymous performances interspersed with prolonged spells out with ‘injuries’.

All told, Rodwell managed just 76 appearances or, more tellingly, 4,875 minutes across four miserable seasons with the Black Cats.

Not that he was all that unhappy – Rodwell’s five-year contract with Sunderland entitled him to eye-watering wages he never even came close to justifying.

In four years, he is likely to have earned £3.36 million before tax or roughly £690 for every minute he played for the club or £11.50 a second.

Rodwell made just three appearances in the Championship during the 2017-18 campaign, with the Black Cats suffering relegation in the process.

Throughout that time, he continued to collect £70,000-a-week and was rarely involved in the first team squad.

In one bizarre instance, the supposedly injured Rodwell was spotted lurking around in the Gateshead Metrocentre arcade while the team was playing away at Bristol City.

Though a clause in his contract preventing the midfielder from taking a pay cut in the second tier, this season Rodwell would have been forced to take a 40% reduction.

That said, a weekly wage in excess of £40,000 is still way above the League One average, which stands at around £2,000 a week.

Rodwell has been linked with a move to Aris Thessaloniki or, potentially, a move into the world of Major league Soccer. Either way, he’s unlikely to be welcome around the Sunderland region any time soon.