Niall Quinn opens up on takeover talk before Stewart Donald took charge as ex-Sunderland skipper lands coaching role

Niall Quinn has revealed he had four people contact him about a potential Sunderland takeover before Stewart Donald took charge last summer.

By Richard Mennear
Monday, 22 July, 2019, 11:45
Former Sunderland skipper John O'Shea has joined Reading's coaching staff.

Rumours were rife last year that former Sunderland striker, manager and chairman Quinn could be set for a sensational return as part of a takeover deal back when Ellis Short was looking to sell-up.

It didn’t materialise and Donald & Co eventually took charge at the Stadium of Light.

In an interview with Roker Report, Quinn was asked whether there was any truth a consortium was looking to put him in charge?

Quinn said: “No. I had up to four people came up to speak to me about it. A couple I knew, a couple I didn’t. They said they were interested in doing something at Sunderland and would I be interested and I said “No. I’ve had my time at it, but if you need a little hand to help understand the club more...” ‘cause I think sometimes people look at a club, and especially Sunderland, and they look at the books and finances and they don’t look at the impact value of fans loving a football club in a manner I had never seen before.”

He added: “I spoke to all four of them who wanted to maximise the impact of reconnecting the fans to the football club and I stuck to that.

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“As it happens, they fell away and Stewart Donald came in rather quickly, but make no bones about it, regardless of what happens Stewart Donald and his team got two things right on day one - they reconnected the club with the fans - and trust me, that is not simple. It was excellent, but probably just as important they’ve got a fine manager.

“They chose a fine manager that barely anybody even knew about. They are two very big things that give a club a chance.”

Meanwhile, ex-Sunderland skipper John O’Shea has taken up a first team coaching role with Reading.

Boss Jose Gomes told the club website: O'Shea was a "model professional" adding "John is an intelligent, modest, positive, highly-respected individual who enjoyed a quite remarkable playing career.”