Here’s what the Echo was reporting 10 years ago.
SUNDERLAND SIGN UP GIANT KEEPER
Sunderland last night clinched the signing of Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Marton Fulop.
But the giant Hungarian international will not go straight into the squad for tonight’s game at Wales.
The 6ft 5in stopper agreed terms last night, joining as an emergency loan signing as cover for Darren Ward after Ben Alnwick’s recent injury left the club with no recognised senior keeper as deputy.
Fulop will be on loan until January although he is not available for tonight’s Championship match at Molineux.
Boss Roy Keane said: “I’m delighted the deal has been completed. Marton is someone we’ve been looking at for a while – he’s young, hungry and just the type of player we’re looking for at this football club.”
Fulop – Hungary’s number two goalkeeper – spent most of last season on loan with Coventry, where he made 33 appearances, including two against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round, keeping six clean sheets.
The 23-year-old began his career with MTK Hungaria in 2001 before being loaned out to BKV Elore and then Bodajk FC in his homeland.
He joined Tottenham for a nominal fee in July, 2004, after a three-day trial at White Hart Lane but has yet to play a first team game.
He had a brief loan spell with Chesterfield between March and May, 2005, making seven appearances for the Spireites and keeping two clean sheets.
Fulop represented his country at U21 level and then made his full Hungarian debut as a half-time substitute in a friendly against France in May, 2005, keeping a clean sheet for the second period.
He was also a half-time sub in a friendly against Austria in August this year.
Two of Niall Quinn’s summer signings, meanwhile, headed out on loan – and are unlikely to return.
Frenchman William Mocquet and Spaniard Arnau have joined Rochdale and Southend respectively.
Mocquet has joined struggling League Two side Rochdale until January 4 while Arnau will be spending a couple of months at the team currently propping up the Championship.
He will go straight into Steve Tilson’s squad to face Essex rivals Colchester United tomorrow.
QUINN HAS FIVE-YEAR FAN PLAN
Funds would go into transfer ‘war chest’
Niall Quinn is considering the idea of a five-year ‘super-season-ticket’ for fans which would help create a war-chest for manager Roy Keane.
The Sunderland chairman is exploring any avenues which might bring the fans back to the Stadium of Light or help boost the manager’s transfer funds.
And in the prospect of the five-year season ticket, he sees the possibility of doing both.
The chairman reckons that a five-year ticket would raise funds for the club in the transfer market and has suggested that the Drumaville consortium would match pound-for-pound any money committed by the fans.
And he also believes that people committing to the five-year ticket would help swell attendance at the ground which he is convinced would generate better results from the team.
He told the Echo: “It’s very, very early days but this is something we are researching.
“We’re looking for a way to bring people back into the stadium, and we think this could work – it could be a way of taking the club forward.
“Visiting teams used to tremble in the tunnel here and it’s not like that now. We need more people at games. Ultimately, the more people in the stadium, the better the team plays.
“This isn’t financial – it’s purely about getting more people to come back. If it was just about money, we’d stay with what we’re doing now.
“We’re knocking together a few ideas around this theme and want to do some more research before we present it properly to the public. I’m trying to find a way of finding the best support for the team on a Saturday.
“The team should be playing in front of 40,000 and not 25,000 and we’re trying to find a way of making this happen.”
Quinn has already run the idea in front of supporters’ groups and will assess the feedback the club gets over the next few weeks.
If it is introduced, supporters would sign up to getting the five-year tickets but would NOT be expected to pay the whole costs in the first year.
Instead, they would enter into a direct debit agreement and spread the cost over the five-year period.
Sunderland fans would be winners on the deal if the club gets promoted in the near future – for example, in 2010 and 2011, supported could be watching Premiership football at price levels agreed in 2006 in the Championship.
But the bigger picture that Quinn hopes to see, would be fans signing up for five-year deals and swelling the attendances at the Stadium of Light.
He would love to bring back the ‘Roker Roar’ style noise that the ground used to generate during his own playing days.