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Niall Quinn leaves Sunderland with immediate effect

Mon 20th Feb 2012 | Football Club Management

Niall Quinn has decided to leave Sunderland after six years to spend more time with his family and concentrate on business interests outside of football.

The former Republic of Ireland international, who as chairman put together the Drumaville consortium which backed Sunderland's return to the Premier League, and then persuaded American tycoon Ellis Short to take over, today announced he is to end his involvement as director of international development.

Quinn stepped aside as Sunderland chairman last year to focus on increasing the club's international profile but is now decided to quit the club with immediate effect.

"I've had the most amazing six years and it gives me a huge sense of pride to see where Sunderland is today," Quinn said.

"Sunderland is in an incredibly fortunate position to have a hugely talented team of people leading the football club right now.

"There is a tremendous amount of energy about the place and the board and the executive management team are a dynamic and committed group, who hold the best interests of the club at the core of all they do.

"Everything is in place for Sunderland to really make a statement, which was always my aim.
Quinn cited bringing in manager Martin O'Neill earlier in the season as "an absolute highlight" and is confident that the Northern Irishman "will harness the immense passion that exists here and take us to new heights".

The former Sunderland striker said he will still get that same "knot" in his stomach before every game but will always get a feeling of pure elation if results continue to go well on the pitch.

Chairman Ellis Short said: "Niall Quinn is and always will be a Sunderland legend. His vision brought me into the club and that vision still inspires what we do.

"His hard work laid down the foundations that we are now building on and the vision and drive he showed both in those early days and indeed in recent times as he focused on our international development, particularly in Africa, should never be underestimated.

"We fully understand his desire to take a back seat now and to concentrate on his own life and interests away from football and he deserves that opportunity."

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