NIALL Quinn has underlined the fact that his departure as Sunderland chairman will not make Steve Bruce’s position at the club shakier, writes GRAEME ANDERSON.
There has been speculation on Wearside that the diplomatic Quinn has acted as a buffer between manager and owner and that his stepping down will leave Bruce under more pressure at the Stadium of Light after Sunderland’s slow start to the season.
But, as the Echo pointed out yesterday, the relationship between Bruce and owner Ellis Short is stronger than many realise and Quinn insists that Bruce could actually benefit from the changes.
“Steve is not isolated by this – it’s the exact opposite,” said the Irishman (pictured).
“It’s time for him to build a closer relationship with Ellis.
“Steve will get time for this team to gel.
“There’s another window looming.
“Unless the situation becomes apocalyptic – and it’s no good worrying about that – Steve will get time.
“For the overall good of the club, this is right. I am happy, absolutely. Ellis is happy. He is speaking to the manager today and you’ll find the manager will be happy tonight.”
Quinn thinks Short will revel in his new role, especially now that the club is firmly established at the Premier League table.
“Ellis will be a great chairman,” he said. “The beauty of Ellis is that he has a presence. He has authority, he demands serious attention and after three years he also understands football’s snakes and ladders nature – that it’s not about under-reaction or over-reaction.
“This can be the making of Steve Bruce.
“Steve has been in a jumpy world at clubs before, where he read things in the media, but with Ellis he won’t.
Ellis is straightforward, a real man, no whispering.
“He’s not an operator. An operator runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds and to an extent I had to do that.
“Ellis is way above that.”
Quinn also accepted that Short’s new role will not see him suddenly becoming a higher profile figure on Wearside.
“Don’t expect him to be a media darling,” he said. “He doesn’t worry what’s said and he doesn’t need to go out and sell himself because every Sunderland fan knows what he’s done in the last three years.”