One of those infamous off-the-field issues relates to Emmanuel Eboue of course.
Eboue's chances of a return to Sunderland are looking slim as the Black Cats have received no contact from the right-back following the termination of his contract.
Almost two weeks ago, the former Arsenal defender was served a two week notice by Sunderland after being banned by FIFA for a year due to his failure to pay a debt he owed to a former agent.
Eboue was handed a get-out clause by both FIFA and his new club, if we able to resolve the debt, understood to be around the million mark.
No chance of resolve
However, it’s looking likely that Eboue is not going to take up the offer of a get-out clause. The Ivorian has made no contact with Sunderland and boss Sam Allardyce has accept that hopes of re-signing the defender are all but over.
Allardyce said, “We haven’t heard anything so I think the writing’s on the wall.”
He admitted that the club have not heard “hide nor hare of what position he’s in” and are oblivious to whether he’s about to settle the debt or not.
He continued, “I think we’ll have to draw a line under it this week.”
Following his release from Galatasaray at the end of last season, Eboue signed a short-term deal with relegation candidates Sunderland after proving his fitness during a month’s trial at the Academy of Light.
Failure to admit debt
However, Eboue failed to make his new club aware of the outstanding debt, dating back to 2014, when a disciplinary commission at FIFA ruled in favour of the agent.
Sunderland had no reason to learn of the issue when they registered Eboue with both the FA and FIFA, after agreeing personal terms.
The ex-agent, Sebastien Boisseau then triggered the year-long ban which prevents his ex-client from participating in any football activity, and could well mark the end of his playing career.
Allardyce confessed that he was “dispapointed by two counts”. One, that Eboue never told the club of the debt upon his arrival.
He said, “We may have been able to resolve the situation before it got this desperate stage.”
Big Sam also vented his frustration and all the hard work Sunderland had put in to get his fitness up, and rued losing an experienced player.