Sacking former chief executive Martin Bain cost Sunderland more than £1million in compensation last year, despite the Scot presiding over two successive relegations, the League One side's financial accounts have revealed.
Appointed in May 2016 on an annual salary of £1.24million, the ex-Rangers and Maccabi Tel Aviv boss was the highest paid chief executive in the Championship last season but could not stop the Black Cats going down again or haemorrhaging money.
Bain - who featured in the Netflix documentary series 'Sunderland 'Til I Die' - received £1.9m in pay and compensation last season. Relegation from the Premier League to the Championship saw Sunderland's turnover fall from £123.5m to £63.7m.
It is perhaps to Bain's credit that he managed to keep the club's losses to only £500,000 a week, something he achieved by slashing operating costs from £151million to £82million and selling Jordan Pickford to Everton.
The latter helped Sunderland record a £20million profit on playing trading, with only James Vaughan, Jason Steele and Aiden McGeady coming in for a combined £1.26million.
But the facts that only one of those, McGeady, is still at the club and Sunderland endured another woeful campaign, will have to remain in Bain's debit column.