Gyan, Quinn and the root of ‘all sorts of nonsense’

Niall Quinn speaks out on the Asamoah Gyan debacle …

Once and for all, let Salut! Sunderland remind SAFC, and the chairman most of us hold in such esteem, that when misleading information and speculation are presented by the media, from newspapers to TV and online sources, interested parties and even supporters, the clubs often have themselves to blame.

Football clubs, in common with politicians, public agencies and business generally, like to control the release of information as best they can. If this means a little manipulation over timing, or a degree of economy with the truth, you can bet your bottom dollar that is how it will be.

But as shown yet again, this time by the Asamaoh Gyan saga – which the dumbest boy in class could have predicted would cause more than the odd ripple – those who mould the truth to their own, often respectable agenda are eventually stung into making more open public statements than they ever intended.

It is a function of the age; nothing the most secretive entity chooses to do about it can stop, for long, the flow of unwelcome information – and, yes, disinformation and misinformation.

Niall Quinn has now made a full statement on the quite extraordinary events surrounding the departure of Gyan, events that have rightly preoccupied all with SAFC’s best interests at heart as well as those merely looking on.

Courtesy of, this is what he had to say:

“I’ve heard and read all sorts of nonsense over the last few days and it’s important that our fans are in possession of the full facts on this, not hearsay, rumour and media speculation.

From the moment Asamoah returned for pre-season training we could tell that there were people trying to move him on. We hoped it would pass by, rebuking approaches from the Premier League, France and Turkey and felt the player would settle back down and continue to help our cause.

Throughout this time we were also receiving real interest from Al-Ain, but it looked as if that too had lost momentum by last Wednesday.

Steve spoke to Asamoah on Thursday morning, asking him to knuckle down and we were all set to move on. Later that day however Al-Ain began a prolonged effort to get the deal back on track and this turned the player’s attentions once more to a possible move.

Come Friday, the chairman of Al-Ain and his advisors had flown into Newcastle and arrived at our training ground to discuss a potential deal for Asa. They were very professional but determined to sign the player and at this point we took a number of things into consideration:

1 The player’s obviously negative demeanor in and around the training ground
2 The fact that the transfer window in the UAE had over 50 days remaining, meaning this was unlikely to go away.
3 The clear desire of the player to leave.
4. The forthcoming African Nations Cup, which would have meant losing Asamoah for up to six weeks in the New Year.
5 The obvious economic benefits to our club in the terms of the final deal laid out to us.

In the early hours of Saturday morning chief executive Margaret Byrne and myself agreed a loan deal to allow Asamoah his wish to move but that would also, and more importantly, protect the club should things not work out for the player.

Steve Bruce, our owner and the Board all found the football decision that Asamoah wished to make baffling but I as chairman, with everyone’s full support, decided that this deal was in the best interests of our football club.
There was a lot of things that needed to happen before the deal was fully secured, such as a medical, which has in fact only just been completed today. Unfortunately, word of the deal came out ahead of our game against Chelsea.

Steve’s frustrations towards the player, expressed minutes after the Chelsea game, were understandable at such a time but I can reveal that since then Asamoah and Steve have made contact and they are on good terms.

The olive branch is now there for Asamoah, but he will need to convince Steve, the Board and every Sunderland fan of his commitment to this club if he is to return. I am delighted however that he has agreed to make a sizeable donation to SAFC Foundation for each month that he is away on loan.

This is the first opportunity that I have had to talk publicly about the deal as we now have confirmation that all the formalities are complete and I hope that our fans will appreciate that the decision was taken in the best interest of our club – which will always be my remit. It also goes without saying that this puts Steve and his recruitment options in a far stronger position for the January window.

As the dust begins to settle we hope to concentrate everyone’s minds on our forthcoming games, getting our squad to blend and kick-start our season. I understand our fans’ frustrations at the moment and I thank them for their patience and understanding.”

Plenty there – I have left it intact save for correcting a couple of wayward apostrophes (and I’m sure that by “rebuke”, he meant “repel” or similar) – to chew on. Plenty to enable us to sympathise with Steve, Niall and indeed everyone with the glaring exception of Gyan, who rides a short way to his own rescue with the pledge of money to the SAFC foundation but has betrayed club, management and fans in disgraceful fashion.

However, there is nothing to ease our entirely reasonable concerns about the curent predicament. Wins against Stoke and Norwich would, of course, give the start to the season a different look, but can anyone seriously complain that eyebrows have been raised? Are we meant to be grateful for two points and two goals from four games, a lamentably early exit from the Carling Cup and a squad now desperately thin on Premier-seasoned strike power?

I would like very much to know whether Gary Bennett was right in saying at the weekend that a move for an experienced striker – as glaring a need as could be imagined – was vetoed at a somewhat advanced stage. More on that and how we propose to stem the outward flow of attacking talent, and less on the routine but, in fact, meaningless gripes about “hearsay, rumour and media speculation”, would have been welcome. Even if Niall Quinn’s comments, broadly speaking, are illuminating and fair.

Monsieur Salut

13 thoughts on “Gyan, Quinn and the root of ‘all sorts of nonsense’”

  1. Great posting Hilary.

    Bruce’s judgment of player is pretty lamentable, when it comes to football ability, capacity to adjust to the league, and life on Wearside etc. Gyan didn’t last 12 months. Cana came and went in similar style before that. Riveros, Da Silva and Angeleri all failed to make an impact or settle.

    What galls me with Bruce is this “folksie” way that you describe. When he’s interviewed before games you would think he was on a sharanang outing to Cleethorpes. “Well we’ve had nice journey down. we stopped for some fish and chips. The mushy peas were very nice but we had a couple of lads who didn’t care a great deal for the mince pies.”

    Interviewer; “So what about this afternoon then Steve?”

    SB “Well the last couple of times we’ve been down here we’ve had some rain. Let’s hope that it keeps off, but if it does start to spit, we’ll be in trouble because we didn’t bring any Macs. But, you know that’s Cleethorpes in September isn’t it?”

  2. Gyan had 1 half decent game for us – that was at home against Wigan last season – apart from that I can’t see what all the fuss is about Typical overpaid , underperforming , delusional footballer ; there are loads of them about , no doubt we will buy another one soon

  3. I am increasingly embarrassed by Bruce. I agree that Gyan’s behaviour has been dreadful, but in some ways, sadly predictable. Bruce seems out of his depth in the modern Premiership. He, like other managers we have had, can manage journeymen (although I wonder about that at the moment), but seems unable to deal with so called ‘star players’ I know it is a difficult ask for a club struggling to establish itself in the Premiership, but it has to be done better than at present. Bruce doesn’t inspire confidence. Unfortunately like it or not, and I don’t, PR plays a big part in Premiership politics these days. Brice’s folksy and naive declarations do nothing to dignify SAFC. If we want to attract and keep good players, we need at least to present a highly professional and competent front. It may very well be that Gyan would have gone whatever the circumstances, but we must do something radical if we want to progress at all and attract good players in the next transfer window.

  4. Pete asks could his character not have been explored before we signed him? Going back 12 months Gyan was widely welcomed at the club by most supporters who applauded the management for bringing a perceived world class striker after his performances in the World Cup. Kenwynne Jones had gone and we were left with Campbell and Waghorn backing up B£nt with the transfer window about to close.

    Then, as now, we were seriously lacking in the striking department. I suggest that clubs such as ours cannot really be too picky when a goalscorer is needed. Unfortunately they are in great demand and as such there will always be a club able to pay more or offer a more cosmopolitan lifestyle than SAFC etc. Had Bendtner not signed we would be reliant on Wickham and Ji but it makes the club’s pursuit of Crouch more comprehensible. Crouch is not a player I rate that highly and I couldn’t see him gelling with the Ghanain but it seems to indicate that Gyan’s departure was expected.

    Supporters would do well to remember, when slagging off the management for not bringing in this player or that, that “all that glisters is not gold.” Loyal, committed whole hearted players in the Quinn and Phillips mould don’t come along that often.

    My big fear now is that Bruce won’t get the best out of the squad he has. I hope he proves me wrong.

  5. Can somebody explain to me why EPL can sell players after the transfer deadline but not replace them ? The fact that the transfer deadline is not the same world wide seems to be a disadvantage to English teams . For example t we can lose Gyan but not replace him until January 2012. Seems a bit unfair to me.

  6. I don’t suppose they ever will (Niall Quinn certainly hasn’t) but I wish someone would explain the logic that has held sway in the SoL boardroom since the end of last season. As soon as the first statement was issued, months ago, that Gyan wasn’t going anywhere, it seemed to me (and I said it here) that his future was in doubt. There’s very rarely smoke without at least a small fire and the question of his departure had obviously been raised.
    Perhaps, and I hope they did, they tried to talk Gyan round, to improve his attitude and feelings toward the club. Maybe they even offered him more money. But surely it must have been obvious after a while that he was unlikely ever to give Sunderland 100 per cent. At that point, why didn’t someone make the decision to sell him on, early enough in the transfer window to spend the money on a first-class replacement, instead of waiting to the last minute to get a striker on loan?
    I think Bendtner has all kinds of potential for long-term success with Sunderland; I hope he works out, scores a lot of goals and the loan turns into a proper contract. But with Gyan’s departure, Bendtner has been left with a lot to do on his own. I dread to think of him being injured over the next few weeks.
    Gyan’s decision to choose big money over first-class football is his own. Presumably he’ll be a big, well-paid fish in a small pond for a while and then he’ll move to another club for even bigger money. Or maybe he’ll stay in the UAE. I don’t much care. I do care that the farce that surrounded his future, as the English, French and Turkish transfer windows closed with no one knowing if he’d be doing a last-minute moonlight flit, was allowed to continue as long as it did with Bruce, presumably sanctioned by his masters, hinting that it would all be sorted out and everything in the garden would be lovely once again.
    Nobody comes out of this with any credit – not Gyan, not Bruce, not Quinn. And no, not the money-hungry agents either. But, really, who could expect anything better from them? We were entitled to expect better from Bruce and the board room. A timely decision to let Gyan go, a timely hunt for someone worthy to take his place and, most important, a timely telling of the truth to the fans. More and more, the SoL is a house built on sand.

  7. Gyan has gone don’t let him come back can Bruce not go with him Gyan has lost it football wise but bruce has lost his mind he is clueless use the 6 million off Gyan to pay Bruce off before it’s to late MARTIN O NEIL in now and put players in there proper positions

  8. Things not right since Gyan returned for per season training. Unfit and overweight yet we still play him and apparently pander to him. Maybe decisive management at the outset is the least SAFC fans could have expected. Then the club would have had the chance to balance the squad – too much to ask from our management???

  9. So reading between the positive spin, quite professionally delivered by our Chairman, it appears that Gyan is a greedy b*****d who has been led astray by the parasites that continue to sponge off our game.

    And what of the sizeable donation every month to the SAFC Foundation coming out his the 800k wage packet….stick it up your backside Asamoah . Why did Qunn feel it necessary to inform us of that wonderful piece of generosity ? Makes me even angrier.

    The way he has behaved over this has been nothing short of shameful. Just like Judas Bent he will never be forgiven.

  10. Peace in our time! That appeasement message failed too!

    Bruce and Gyan have made up and an “olive branch” is available should our prodigal striker return!!!

    This is not a scenario that most supporters would feel comfortable with.
    I like the idea of Bruce spitting out his porridge rather than eating humble pie.

    Get a world class loan fee for him and sell him for an overall profit in January. He ain’t welcome anymore.

    Who’s next –Sess????

  11. Should he decide to return, he would be made as welcome as Gordon Brown at Alastair Darling’s retirement do.
    The statement fills in many of the grey areas that supporters could only speculate on. But, it has come 48 hours after the move and the vacumn that was created by no official explanation has been filled with all kinds of rumour and speculation.
    I don’t think that the Gyan case is the same as Bent. Gyan seems to live in a fantasy world with his music, his diamante shell suit tops and his possee of advisors. But we could ask the question, how well was his character explored before we signed him from Rennes?
    I cannot take him seriously now and hope that he performs well enough in the UAE to engineer a move to another club for a sizeable transfer fee, which we can then re-invest in a player who may well last more than 18 months.

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