SUNDERLAND chairman Niall has issued a club statement on Asamoah Gyan’s shock transfer at the weekend, hoping to explain to the club’s fans exactly how the move came about.
Rumours have been flying around like snowflakes over the weekend, including claims that a Press conference was to be called at 7pm Saturday, and that Quinn himself had stepped down.
Those conspiracy theories were obviously unfounded but so were many of the rumours and counter-rumours that surfaced over the ins and outs of Gyan’s move – especially over the question of did he jump or was he pushed.
Quinn said: “I’ve heard and read all sorts of nonsense over the last few days and it’s important that our fans are in possession of the full facts on this.
“From the moment Asamoah returned for pre-season training we could tell that there were people trying to move him on.
“We hoped it would pass by, rebuking approaches from the Premier League, France and Turkey and felt the player would settle back down and continue to help our cause.
“Throughout this time we were also receiving real interest from Al-Ain, but it looked as if that too had lost momentum by last Wednesday.
“Steve spoke to Asamoah on Thursday morning, asking him to knuckle down and we were all set to move on.
“Later that day, however ,Al-Ain began a prolonged effort to get the deal back on track and this turned the players’ attentions once more to a possible move.
“Come Friday, the chairman of Al-Ain and his advisors had flown into Newcastle and arrived at our training ground to discuss a potential deal for Asa. They were very professional but determined to sign the player and at this point we took a number of things into consideration:
“1 The players’ obviously negative demeanor in and around the training ground
“2 The fact that the transfer window in the UAE had over 50 days remaining, meaning this was unlikely to go away.
“3 The clear desire of the player to leave.
“4 The forthcoming African Nations Cup, which would have meant losing Asamoah for up to six weeks in the New Year.
“5 The obvious economic benefits to our club in the terms of the final deal laid out to us.
“In the early hours of Saturday morning chief executive Margaret Byrne and myself agreed a loan deal to allow Asamoah his wish to move but that would also, and more importantly, protect the club should things not work out for the player.
“Steve Bruce, our owner and the Board all found the football decision that Asamoah wished to make baffling but I as chairman, with everyone’s full support, decided that this deal was in the best interests of our football club.
“There was a lot of things that needed to happen before the deal was fully secured, such as a medical, which has in fact only completed Monday. Unfortunately, word of the deal came out ahead of our game against Chelsea.
“Steve’s frustrations towards the player, expressed minutes after the Chelsea game, were understandable at such a time but I can reveal that since then Asamoah and Steve have made contact and they are on good terms.
“The olive branch is now there for Asamoah, but he will need to convince Steve, the Board and every Sunderland fan of his commitment to this club if he is to return.
“I am delighted however that he has agreed to make a sizeable donation to SAFC Foundation for each month that he is away on loan.
“This is the first opportunity that I have had to talk publicly about the deal as we now have confirmation that all the formalities are complete and I hope that our fans will appreciate that the decision was taken in the best interest of our club – which will always be my remit.
“It also goes without saying that this puts Steve and his recruitment options in a far stronger position for the January window.
“As the dust begins to settle we hope to concentrate everyone’s minds on our forthcoming games, getting our squad to blend and kick-start our season. I understand our fans frustrations at the moment and I thank them for their patience and understanding.”
Quinn might be being slightly naïve if he believes Sunderland fans will welcome Gyan back with open arms after his year in the sun.
But the chairman’s comments do at least clarify that all parties have tried to make the best of a difficult situation.
Gyan’s contribution to the Foundation was probably what the striker was aluding to when he said that the full story had yet to come out.
It is also clear that Sunderland were tempted by the offer of a £6m loan fee which effectively pays off the remainder of the fee still due to be paid to Rennes for their record signing as well as taking the striker’s wages off the bill.
And by the club insisting that the deal is only a loan, the Black Cats are still in a position next summer to cash in on a forward whose sale would represent clear profit.
It will be particularly heartening for Bruce that he will be able to spend ambitiously in January but in the meantime his squad is sure to be tested with much being asked of new arrivals Nicklas Bendtner, Ji Dong-won and Connor Wickham.