Quinn steps down in Sunderland reshuffle
Published 04/10/2011 | 05:00
Niall Quinn's decision to step down as Sunderland chairman will not have any immediate ramifications for Steve Bruce's future as manager.
Quinn, who will focus on developing the club's international links, decided to end his five-year stint at the helm, with the owner Ellis Short agreeing to take control of the day-to-day running of Sunderland.
The move has been discussed for several months, although it appears to have been brought forward, with the restructuring initially due to happen next summer.
Club sources have strenuously denied that the Dubliner's decision has anything to do with the vacancy at Manchester City created when Garry Cook resigned as chief executive -- Quinn has been linked with a return to his former club.
It is also understood that Bruce is relaxed about the changes and does not feel his job is under any threat because of Quinn's departure.
The main stumbling block had been persuading Short to take over as chairman rather than bring someone in from outside, with Quinn unwilling to step down until the American agreed to replace him.
Short has owned the club for almost three years, but initially wanted to draw on Quinn's football expertise to advise him on playing matters as he focused on the business side of things.
"With (Uefa) financial fair play rules coming into effect it is essential for the long-term success of the club that we develop interests on a global scale and there's no one better than Niall to sell the ethos of Sunderland to an international audience," Short said.
Quinn initially became chairman as part of the Irish-based Drumaville consortium. He then helped sell the club to American businessman Short a little over two years later.
Quinn said: "This is a great opportunity for us to make the club stronger. Ellis will be a fantastic chairman."
Although Quinn has been Bruce's main ally in the boardroom, Short has also offered his personal backing in recent weeks.
However results need to improve after the international break to ensure Short's belief in him does not fade.
Meanwhile, Bruce revealed that he will look to sign Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner, who set up both goals in Saturday's comeback against West Bromwich Albion, permanently from Arsenal next summer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)