SAFC 10 YEARS AGO: Quinn wants season ticket boost

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting on SAFC 10 years ago.

NIALL Quinn’s belief that Roy Keane’s war-chest will be boosted next season by a flood of renewing season-ticket holders is about to be put to the test.

The chairman is keeping his fingers crossed that supporters will be enticed by special offers and innovative repayment schemes, not to mention Sunderland’s rising fortunes.

For there’s no denying that the amount of renewals will have a significant impact on the club’s financial plans, certainly in the short-term.

And the deadline for Sunderland supporters wishing to renew existing season tickets, or any supporter wishing to purchase a new seat, is approaching fast.

Fans who want to renew their seats at new Championship prices – regardless of the club’s divisional status next season – have to buy by Thursday, April 5.

And that’s also the deadline for supporters wishing to take advantage of the club’s new interest-free payment scheme, which spreads payment of a season ticket across a 10-month period.

Fans will be aware that a season ticket at the Stadium of Light offers supporters savings on buying tickets on a match-by-match basis.

But the bottom line is, will fans have sufficient belief and enthusiasm in the immediate future of the club to put their money where the chairman’s mouth is?

Supporters who do renew now will benefit if the club gets promoted to the Premiership and decides to issue new top-flight price lists for tickets.

And the chairman, who has been trying to galvanise supporters with a series of roadshows, is quietly confident that supporters will back his drive to revive the club.

He said: “We have already seen a great response from existing season-ticket holders choosing to return, which is fantastic.

I wholeheartedly thank those supporters who have shown their commitment at this early stage.

“And I would urge those who haven’t renewed or purchased yet to do so before the deadline in order to take advantage of the special price and payment option.”

Anyone who wants further information in season ticket renewals can contact the ticket office on 0845 671 1973.

CHANGE OF HEART FOR WALKER:

PETER Walker has withdrawn his resignation as Sunderland Football Club chief executive after talks with Niall Quinn.

Walker, pictured, was due to walk this summer, having given notice of his intention to resign last month after nine years with the club.

He joined the Sunderland board as group financial director in 2001 and was appointed chief executive in 2004.

At the time that his decision to step down was made public, he said: “The last 12-18 months in particular have been very challenging, culminating in the transition to new ownership last year. It has been very rewarding helping the new owners to take control of the business.”

Walker has made a U-turn though after further talks with the board, who had not appointed a successor and has withdrawn his resignation with immediate effect.

Chairman Niall Quinn said: “We are very pleased that Peter Walker has reconsidered his decision to move to pastures new and will not now be leaving the club in the summer.

“We have already made much progress on and off the pitch and these are exciting and challenging times, but it is essential that we continue to drive the business forward and Peter is ideally qualified to do this.”