Niall Quinn steps down as SAFC chairman and jumps straight into new role

File photo dated 27/09/2008 of Sunderland's Niall Quinn. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 3, 2011. Niall Quinn has stepped down as chairman of Sunderland to take on an international development role for the club, a statement on www.safc.com has confirmed. Owner Ellis Short will become the club's new chairman with immediate effect. See PA story SOCCER Sunderland. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
File photo dated 27/09/2008 of Sunderland's Niall Quinn. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday October 3, 2011. Niall Quinn has stepped down as chairman of Sunderland to take on an international development role for the club, a statement on www.safc.com has confirmed. Owner Ellis Short will become the club's new chairman with immediate effect. See PA story SOCCER Sunderland. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

NIALL Quinn will hit the ground running in his new role as head of international development – by flying out with Steve Bruce to South Korea this week looking to attract massive inward investment into the club.

The news yesterday evening that Quinn was stepping down as Sunderland’s chairman after five years in charge took many by surprise but the major trip to the Far East – the area which is set to emerge as the key market for lucrative sponsorships – will begin to put the move into context.

The long-distance trip is part of a concerted effort by the Wearsiders to build up links and win hearts and minds in a part of the world which is likely to become strategically vital to the club over the next few years.

And with potential for future naming rights for the Stadium of Light, not to mention various sponsorships on offer, the club will hope that the stage is set for lucrative investment from the Far East in the near future; investment which could help underpin the whole future of the club or even take it to the next level.

For some time now, Quinn has made no secret of his ambition to make Sunderland more of a global brand.

And the recent appointment of Mike Farnan to the board as international and national marketing director will only help in that direction.

Farnan is a former managing director of Manchester United International – a division of the club set up to grow the Red Devils’ brand in Asia, the Middle East and Oceania regions – and Quinn commented on the appointment: “Mike has an enormous amount of new ideas and contacts, plus a massively impressive track record in football worldwide.

“He is excited by the challenge of taking us into new and exciting markets as we look to maximise the vast potential I know this club has.”

FULL story in Tuesday’s Mail ...