Niall Quinn has announced that he is leaving Sunderland Football Club with immediate effect. The former chairman stepped down last October but had remained involved with the club.
Quinn was replaced as chairman by Ellis Short but had been working in a development role trying to raise the club’s profile abroad.
The 45-year-old former Irish striker led the Drumaville Consortium in June 2006, when they bought the club. Quinn was installed chairman at the time and employed Roy Keane as manager.
Quinn said that he plans to return to Ireland to explore other business opportunities away from football.
“I’ve had the most amazing six years and it gives me a huge sense of pride to see where Sunderland is today,” Quinn told the club’s official website.
“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.
“From a football perspective, securing the services of Martin O’Neill has been an absolute highlight.
“In Martin(O’Neill) we have a man that understands the region, the club and the unique place it holds in the lives of its supporters and I am confident that he will harness the immense passion that exists here and take us to new heights.
“As for the great Sunderland fans, I would like to thank them for the trust they placed in me.”
Ellis Short paid tribute to Quinn and promised to follow in his footsteps and keep the club in the Premiership:
“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.
“He has been a trusted friend and advisor to me throughout our time together at Sunderland and whilst I’m sad about his departure, I respect his view that his ‘work is done’. My job is to carry on that work.
“He has been a wonderful servant to Sunderland and his determination to see the club grow has been inspirational.”