Sunderland AFC news: Former chairman and owner Niall Quinn rules out return - exclusive

Sunderland legend Niall Quinn has ruled out a return to Sunderland.

Monday, 6th June 2022, 7:59 am

The former Arsenal, Manchester City and Republic of Ireland striker joined Sunderland in 1996 and stayed until 2002, departing as a firm fan favourite after his iconic partnership with fellow forward Kevin Phillips.

Quinn netted 67 times in 218 games across all competitions for Sunderland and was granted a testimonial at the Stadium of Light after his retirement.

The Dublin-born man then came to the club’s rescue in 2006 and successfully brokered a deal to buy a controlling stake in Sunderland, heading the Drumaville Consortium of wealthy Irish businessmen.

Niall Quinn during his days as Sunderland chairman.

Five years later, American businessman Ellis Short replaced Quinn as chairman of Sunderland with the Irishman appointed as Director of International Development.

Quinn remained in the role until stepping down in 2012 six years after his initial involvement.

It is now understood that current part-owners Stewart Donald and Charlie Methven are set to sell their shares in Sunderland.

Speaking at John Cooke’s testimonial, Quinn delivered his verdict to The Echo on whether he could be tempted to Sunderland in an ambassadorial role.

“There are far better people around to bring the club to the next stage than me,” Quinn said.

“It is going to be really interesting watching it this year from afar. I know everything that is going on because my son is on every forum and listens to every podcast. He’ll keep me well informed.

“But you get the feeling it is going to be exciting. The negative stuff that has been in the background over the years that might just erode away now and hopefully we can talk about the future.”