The words will flow thick and fast about Niall Quinn and his departure from role of chairman of Sunderland AFC. No one beyond his immediate circle can really know what to make of the new role “spearheading international development”, though there are theories aplenty on that, too. But nor should anyone forget all Niall has done for SAFC. Here is one tribute, with sharp injections of realism, from Eric Sweeney …
Niall Quinn is a Sunderland legend. As a player he formed one half of the most potent strikeforce we ever had. A gentleman on and off the field he will be remembered for his love and affection for the Sunderland faithful and more recently his commitment to the club in spearheading much needed investment and leadership.
The Drumaville Consortium takeover in 2006 was the beginning of an amazing adventure.
Vast amounts of money were spent backing Roy Keane in the transfer market in order to make the club a premiership force. Everyone connected to the club believed we were on the cusp of greatness, that something magical was on the cards. Some had the the dream that Sunderland’s future would be similar to that being enjoyed by City fans, maybe afraid to say it outloud in case the dream would die.
Unfortunately, a world recession occurred and but for that I wonder where this club would be today?
The consortium didn’t seem to care about how the money was being spent by Keane.
They had placed their full confidence in Quinn to oversee the revolution of SAFC. The recession ended that dream and in came Short to pick up the pieces. Clearly he had the finances we needed but without question it needed to be justified and likely to yield a return.
Short moved quick to sack Keane who he regarded as wasteful and underqualified for the role. I truely believe Bruce was appointed for his record in the transfer market. Short still wanted Quinn and early signs were positive the club would still move forward. Bruce was making progress, Bent in particular was great business.
Recent transfer activity seems to have ebbed away at the confidence of both Short and the fan base.
Attendances are way down, performance are way below par and some of the tactics used by Bruce have left many baffled. This is likely to have been the main reason why Short now wants a more active role in the club by pushing Quinn aside to take the role of chairman.
I suspect Quinn won’t last long in his new role as this time next year he gently steps aside.
Short seems intent to listen to the restless fans who want a more tactically aware manager. He will remove Bruce and who know what the next manager will be for this great club? My only hope is that the next five years would bring the same emotions as the last.
The Quinn era will live long in the memory. It brought hope and despair in equal measure but allowed us to dream, if only for a while, that we were about to achieve something impossible. I will be eternally grateful to the big man for that. Ha’way the lads…