NIALL Quinn began his Sunderland fans road trip last night when he and chief executive Steve Walton spoke to hundreds of fans at Whiteleas Social Club in South Shields.
It was the first of four talk-ins planned over the course of this month and next and last night’s coincided with the opening of season-ticket card renewals yesterday.
For Quinn, the evening came in the middle of the most hectic of schedules.
The club chairman was this morning appearing in front of a Parliamentary Select Committee in Westminster convened to examine the state of football, having been driven through the night from South Tyneside to get there on time.
Then he will return to the North East for tonight’s second talk-in at Sedgefield Racecourse.
This follows on from a packed weekend which saw Quinn involved in a series of business meetings with owner Ellis Short on Friday and Saturday night – either side of the Arsenal game – while on Sunday he was appearing on Sky television’s morning football show.
Quinn shrugged off the demands on his time when he spoke to the Echo last night, explaining: “I don’t mind a bit of it.
“All these things need to be done and I’ve got to be honest and say I’ve been completely re-invigorated by the ongoing work at the club and the potential that we’ve got as we grow and we develop.
“Getting David Miliband on the board is, in retrospect, one of the best things we have ever done at the club. It is opening so many doors to different markets and global interests in Sunderland Football Club.
“That’s why I’ve been so passionate about pushing this campaign to get fans to come back to the Stadium of Light.
“The fact is that a packed Stadium of Light not only improves the chances of Sunderland winning but it is also a massive selling point to be able to go out there into the world and say we are talking about a club that is up there with Liverpool and Chelsea in terms of attendances.
“That’s what makes people from outside the area sit up and take notice and that’s one of the reasons why these roadshows are such an important part of our strategy.
“We’ve got to get out there and tell supporters what we’re all about and how much we value and need their continuing support..”