Cost-cutting Sunderland have admitted the £30m Jordan Pickford transfer fee was needed to keep the club running.

Simon Grayson only spent £1.25m in the summer despite offloading 15 players including Everton -bound Pickford for a record fee.

But MD Martin Bain has revealed he has to slash costs and bring in a profit after income plunged £60m because of relegation.

Sunderland are facing another battle against the drop and are currently fourth bottom of the Championship.

Bain says he is clearing up mistakes of the past - including being forced to pay £10m for Ricky Alvarez in the summer – who hardly kicked a ball for the club.