Boardroom shake-up at Sunderland as directors Walton and Callaghan depart

SAFC chairman Niall Quinn and outgoing chief executive Steve Walton.
SAFC chairman Niall Quinn and outgoing chief executive Steve Walton.
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SUNDERLAND AFC have parted company with chief executive Steve Walton and marketing and commercial director Lesley Callaghan.

Walton has been in the job just three years but Callaghan has been with the club since 1992.

Chairman Niall Quinn said: “I am deeply indebted to Steve and Lesley for the huge support they have given me during my time at the club.

“Their professionalism and commitment has helped us to take great strides both on and off the pitch.

“The club is in a far stronger position these days and that is in no small part due to the contribution of both Steve and Lesley.

“We will be very sorry to see them go.”

Walton said: “It has been an honour and a privilege to be the chief executive of the club I have supported all my life.

“I am particularly proud of the progress we have made over the last three years, not just in football terms but the business and its people as a whole.

“I am leaving behind a team of outstanding individuals who I have seen grow in stature and I am confident the foundations are firmly in place for a bright future for all associated with the club.”

Callaghan had been with Sunderland since the last few years of Roker Park and has been instrumental in some of the most momentous changes in the club’s history, including moving to the Stadium of Light and playing a role in the transition between Bob Murray’s chairmanship and the Quinn-Drumaville-Short eras.

She said “Sunderland is unrecognisable from the football club I joined in 1992 and it has been an amazing journey, which I wouldn’t have missed for the world.

“I am happy to be able to leave the club in such a position in both commercial and football terms.

“I would like to express my deep gratitude to the exceptional professionals that I have had the great pleasure to work with, both past and present, and to wish them and the club even greater success in the future.”

Sunderland have made no comment about who may replace the pair.