Date: 3rd May 2006 at 10:20am
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Rumours abound in the North East this morning about the future of Sunderland AFC. Niall Quinn was welcomed like a returning hero at the Stadium of Light when he was the guest of chairman Bob Murray at the Mackem’s match vs Arsenal. Before the game, both Murray and Quinn confirmed that a bidding vehicle was in place for a takeover and that negotiations were close to being finalised. If successful, Quinn will assume the role of Chairman and Murray will leave the club after more than 20 years at the helm.

The bulk of the talk in the North East now, given that it appears the takeover is complete bar the shouting, is the possibility of a big name managerial appointment. Local press has been touting Martin O’Neill for the position, given his support for the club as a boy and his current lack of employment. However, it is believed that O’Neill will turn down the chance to manage Sunderland for the same reasons that he refused the Newcastle Utd job. He wishes to be closer to his wife and family and, if he were to return to football, the north east is thought to be too far removed from his family in the midlands.

A stronger candidate for the role in a newly structured Sunderland AFC is current Villa boss David O’Leary. Already under immense pressure at Villa, O’Leary ties to Quinn from their Arsenal days and his friendship with horsing magnate and Quinn’s financier John Magnier, O’Leary is said to be keen to take on the opportunity to revive the fortunes of the Wearsiders. With the promise of significant funds to facilitate a clear-out and rebuilding programme, and the chance to work closer to his Harrogate home, O’Leary can leave the pressure of Aston Villa behind and take on a Sunderland club so downtrodden in recent years that there will be no burden of expectation on his shoulders.

If O’Leary does move to Sunderland, it is also expected that he will take Kevin Phillips back to the Stadium of Light with him; a move that is sure to prove popular with the Wearside faithful given the litany of misfiring strikers at the club since Phillips’ departure.

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19 Replies to “O’Leary Leaving? *Exclusive*”

  • Great for us, I like big Niall and he deserves better but all is fair in love and war.

    Joe Harvey

  • What annoys (use appropriate swear word!) me is that Sunderland can arrange a takeover and all is done smoothly (assuming it does go through). So why can’t we? Answer? DOUG!

  • “O’Leary can leave the pressure of Aston Villa behind and take on a Sunderland club so downtrodden in recent years that there will be no burden of expectation on his shoulders.” LOL!

    You clearly know nothing about Sunderland. Just because we put up wit

  • finally! And i aint gonna shed a tear is super kev goes, unfortuantley he’s past it.

    Lets hope niall quinn doesnt read any villa forums, he’ll soon be put off

  • Sunderland didn’t “put up” with McCarthy. McCarthy performed miracles getting SAFC promoted when nobody, Murray included, expected it. And when they were promoted it was Murray who failed the club by not investing to ensure their survival.

    Sacking Mc

  • O’Neil will join the new Niall Quinn regime as manager of Sunderland. Watch for announcement early next week.

  • I do not need to tell you, but nothing will change all the time deadly doug is at the helm, O’leary may go but who in their right mind would join villa with him still in place.

  • Ther is another reason that clubs like Sunderland can process their takeovers smoothley and Villa can not, the price tag!!!! Sunderland will change hands for a reported £16 million, a quater of the valuation of Villa. Big take overs are always more comp

  • At least Doug won’t have to pay Dosey £1.7m…….. he can give it to the new manager for 6 players.

  • Agreed Villain, ours is even more complicated because the valuation set by Doug doesn’t match anyone elses. And only 6 players for £1.7m DB? Blimey, we will get some quality then… phew! 🙁

  • “good Luck to him, his an honest man going to work with an honest bunch of lads, we wish him all the best”.

  • O’Neill is going to go Sunderland if wouldn’t go to newcastle but O’leary on the other hand will jump at the chance to leave villa.

  • Could he take Sorryson, Gav MC as well. Look further on the bright side… the link with Kevin Kyle could all be balls

  • he’s not going to sunderland because 1) even they wouldnt want him 2) they will want a manager who doesnt think he is to good for the champ and 3) its O’Neill that they really want

  • He’s supposedly good buddies with Niall Quinn, so maybe there’s a grain of truth in it somewhere, although DOL is adamant that he’s going nowhere. Its certainly a viable option for him if Ellis does the dirty next week, but when you read between the lines

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