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Sunderland AFC report losses of up to £26 million

Fri 12th Mar 2010 | Money & Finance

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn has reassured fans that the club is in stable hands under the ownership of American businessman Ellis Short.

Short obtained full control of Sunderland in May 2009 and Quinn revealed the investment has come with the club's welfare in mind.

Quinn told BBC Newcastle: "Ellis has supported this club to the tune of £48m. We're in a fortunate position.

"He funds but doesn't place the burden of that funding on the club's books."

Quinn continued: "It's a pat on the back for the football club and its potential and where it can go that he's willing to back it, but not stand in line and take money back should things not work out."

With pressure to remain in the Premier League growing for Sunderland each season, Quinn admitted expenditure has been required in order to preserve their top-flight status.

However, the former Sunderland player is adamant that the structure of the club is such that even the worst-case scenario at the Stadium of Light would not bring about financial meltdown.

 "We are going to show in the next 48 hours or so, a loss over a particular accounting period within Ellis' time of £26m but that money was invested in players," Quinn added.   

"The big message I would like to get out is not just of the Short input in the football club, but where the football club is, a state of the nation football club address to the fans that rightly care about this football club.

"We're now in a position to say, even though things like Portsmouth have happened, it won't happen at this football club.

"We've got ourselves structurally very sound to deal with all eventualities. Obviously, the preferred eventuality of spending is improving the squad and moving up the table. We do have an aim of being an established top-10 club over time, but we don't want to find ourselves desperately losing sleep in April whether we're going to be in this league every year.

"Should the worst happen, nothing will hurt this club in the way it might have in the past. The reality is that every high earner at the club, including myself, will receive up to a 40% deduction should we ever get relegated.

"That brings the wage bill down by 40%, and one or two players leave. But we're fine, the books are balanced and there's no Armageddon-type story at this club.

"And at the tail-end we've got an owner who will support, and keep supporting in a way that doesn't hurt the club financially but gives us the best chance of success on the pitch.

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