Quinn looking at the bigger picture


Soccer:Former Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is looking to cash in on a worldwide fanbase in a bid to boost the club’s finances.

The former Ireland striker, who stood down from his role to take on the post of director of international development last year, has revealed the Black Cats are taking a global view as they attempt to compete with their richest Premier League rivals.

Writing in his programme notes ahead of today’s clash with leaders Manchester City, which is to be broadcast in Swahili to East Africa by the BBC World Service, Quinn said: “If there was any concern about my change of role at the time — and some of the media jumped to conclusions — I have to make it clear it as very much my idea.

“This is because whatever way I looked at our club’s future pathway, I concluded that we have to get bigger than we are right now and move from depending solely on our region.

“We can’t ask much more from the fans and businesses in our area. In order to keep pace with what is happening at other clubs, we have to make use of the international appeal of the Barclays Premier League.”

Quinn also took the time to thank former boss Steve Bruce for his contribution to the club’s development before he was replaced by Martin O’Neill. He said: “I haven’t had the chance to publicly thank Steve Bruce for coming to Sunderland.

“At times, we really did look the part under Steve, but football moves on and Martin O’Neill has come in and brought a renewed energy to the club, which augurs really well for the future.

“It feels like we made the right decision and it’s a pleasure to see Martin go about his work with the enthusiasm that he exudes.”