Butland: Unacceptable, farcical signings contributed to Stoke's demise
Goalkeeper Jack Butland has hit out at Stoke City's recruitment policy, believing their "farcical" work in the transfer market contributed to the side's relegation.
The Potters dropped into the Championship on Saturday as they let a lead slip at home to Crystal Palace, losing 2-1 to extend their winless Premier League run to 13 matches.
And while Butland was visibly distraught at the defeat, he feels too many of his team-mates - including several who were absent at the weekend - should not have been signed.
Stoke spent big money on Giannelli Imbula, currently out on loan, along with Kevin Wimmer and Saido Berahino - neither of whom have featured regularly in 2018. Jese Rodriguez has been released on compassionate leave.
"I think the whole recruitment process needs looking at, to be honest," said England international Butland.
"Too many of the recent investments have been completely unused and that's unacceptable. That's got to be looked at, because it's been farcical.
"We've gone into a game [on Saturday] – and over the last few months – with half the squad dotted around the world, not even involved.
"Some are on loan, rightly so - you're allowed to go out on loan – things you can't knock, but then there's been transfers who aren't even part of the squad for all kinds of reasons, whether it be discipline, whether it be lack of performance.
"So you've got to look at that, what decisions are being made and the type of characters.
"Badou Ndiaye and Moritz Bauer are two positive signings, but you look at other signings that have been made and they're not even here to have an input."
Butland is expected to go to the World Cup with England and was heavily linked with Champions League finalists Liverpool even before Stoke's demotion.