By Jack Beresford
Jack Rodwell’s disastrous spell with Sunderland is finally over after the two parties successfully negotiated a termination of the 27-year-old’s enormous contract.
Once tipped as a future England captain, Rodwell arrived at the Stadium of Light back in 2014 with then-manager Gustavo Poyet forking over £10million to Man City for the central midfielder.
Viewed 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 injured.
All told, Rodwell managed just 76 appearances or, more tellingly, a mere 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 an eye-watering £70,000 weekly wage he never even came close to justifying.
In four years, he is likely to have earned around £3.36million before tax, or roughly £690 for every minute he played for the club – that’s about £12 a second.
Rodwell made just three appearances in the Championship during the 2017/18 campaign, with Sunderland suffering a second consecutive relegation in the process.
Throughout that time, he continued to collect his vast salary and was rarely involved in the first team squad – much to chagrin of the club’s fans.
In one bizarre instance, the injured Rodwell was reportedly spotted larking 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 coming 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 since been linked with a move to Greek side Aris Thessaloniki or, potentially, a move into the world of Major League Soccer.
Either way, he’s unlikely to be welcome back around the Sunderland region any time soon.