SUNDERLAND AFC has today announced Niall Quinn has decided to step down from his role at the football club after six years.
The former chairman has been focusing on increasing the club’s international profile most recently, culminating in the signing of a unique and groundbreaking partnership between Sunderland and the Invest in Africa initiative, which is set to grow and develop in the coming months.
Niall is now set return to Ireland to concentrate on his family and business interests outside football.
Speaking about his decision, he said: “I’ve had the most amazing six years, and it gives me a huge sense of pride to see where Sunderland is today.
“Sunderland is in an incredibly fortunate position to have a hugely talented team of people leading the football club right now.
“There is a tremendous amount of energy about the place, and the board and the executive management team are a dynamic and committed group, who hold the best interests of the club at the core of all they do.
“Everything is in place for Sunderland to really make a statement, which was always my aim.
“From a football perspective, securing the services of Martin O’Neill has been an absolute highlight.
“In Martin we have a man that understands the region, the club and the unique place it holds in the lives of its supporters, and I am confident that he will harness the immense passion that exists here and take us to new heights.
“As for the great Sunderland fans, I would like to thank them for the trust they placed in me.
“Back in 2006 I had no business experience and little formal education, yet the fans backed me and believed in what I was trying to do.
“They came back to the club in their tens of thousands, and the faith they showed in me was humbling.
“I must make special mention of the Drumaville consortium, without whom the story would not have unfolded.
“They will always be fondly remembered on Wearside, and I will always be grateful for their input.
“Later on Ellis (Short) came in – and he believed too.
“As the guardian of Sunderland in recent years, he has proven himself to be astute, wholeheartedly committed and above all passionate about this football club.
“He has truly bought into the ethos of what Sunderland is all about, and this is so much more than a business to him.
“Sunderland supporters can be confident that their club is in very safe hands, as am I.
“I am now looking forward to spending more time with my family and exploring business interests away from football.
“One thing is for sure though - I’ll still have that knot in my stomach before kick-off, and the feeling of pure elation at final whistle if the result has gone our way – that will never leave me.”