Sunderland maintain global aim despite Quinn exit

Mike Farnan
Mike Farnan
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SUNDERLAND’S international ambitions won’t be derailed by the departure of Niall Quinn.

And raising its profile on the world stage will continue to be one of the club’s key strategies.

Sunderland announced Quinn’s exit from the club on Monday after the popular Irishman decided to leave his role as Director of International Development.

Quinn’s work will be continued by Mike Farnan, who was appointed as the club’s international and national marketing director in August last year.

That appointment signalled the club’s intent to seriously challenge the big names in football, with Farnan having great experience in sports marketing, including involvement with Manchester United and Formula One.

Chief executive Margaret Byrne said: “Sunderland will always be a club fiercely proud of its roots and local supporter base but to truly grow and progress we need to be looking at the bigger picture.

“Improving our standing internationally, and of course the subsequent rewards that this could bring, has been a key focus for us for some time now and that work naturally will continue.”

Trips in recent months to Korea and Ghana have sparked huge interest in Sunderland and Farnan will look to build on that in those countries as well as spreading the name of Sunderland elsewhere around the world.

“Global branding and recognition on an international platform isn’t something that is easy to achieve, nor can it be done overnight,” he said.

“It’s a gradual process that takes some time to gain momentum.

“However, in a short period, we are already seeing the groundwork we have undertaken starting to produce significant dividends.

“Recent visits Korea have seen our profile in the country increase dramatically in recent months and we’re building links with both the football and business communities.

“Ji Dong-won’s last minute goal against Manchester City created headlines around the world and that game was also broadcast in Swahili by the BBC World Service to over 25 million listeners across Africa.”