Since the news broke that Niall Quinn is allegedly acting as an intermediary for several parties interested in potentially purchasing the club, Sunderland fans have been filled with hope - hope that the club legend might once more rescue his former side from the jaws of despair.
And who can blame us for being so enthused? Sitting bottom of the Championship, up to our eyeballs in debt, a matter of weeks away from relegation into the third tier of English football with a squad that will dissipate like the morning mist once our relegation is confirmed - we’re in need of a miracle, and that’s what the prospect of Quinny being back involved in ANY capacity represents.
Hope glimmers through an incredibly bleak atmosphere with this news, and fans can be forgiven for being carried away.
Niall Quinn has been approached by a consortium interested in a takeover of Sunderland - but purely in an advisory role. There’s been no contact between Quinn & Sunderland. The Irish-based group are one of a number to have expressed interest in buying the club from Ellis Short.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) March 26, 2018
If you take a step back from the fervour engulfing Wearside and look at the situation objectively, you’ll see that things aren’t as straightforward as we would hope for them to be. As noted, this is a rumour, and as such we really have to try and remain as grounded as possible while the story continues to develop.
Indeed, as the reports continued to filter in through Twitter yesterday, the story itself began to mutate. Ultimately, journalists could not agree whether Quinn was actively involved in any sort of active takeover bid, or whether he was simply being contacted by interested parties.
The situation is very much unpredictable, but what does seem to be a recurring theme is the fact that Niall Quinn has been approached by several groups interested in perhaps tabling an offer for our beleaguered club.
Re safc takeover Niall Q has def not spoken to E Short or club. Been approached by others. Was in Sunderland last week re a business launch in India next month. Would never say never on return but not imminent.— Michael Walker (@mwalker2771) March 26, 2018
Understand there have been no takeover talks between Niall Quinn and Ellis Short. I have heard some people spoke to NQ a while ago about a potential deal, but it came to nothing.— James Hunter (@JHunterChron) March 26, 2018
No idea why this rumour should surface now. #safc
And, despite the fact that journalists are unable to offer any real solidity to the speculation, the potential of another magical carpet ride is a prospect that Sunderland fans simply can’t ignore - no matter how cautious we should be in raising our hopes.
Niall Quinn, if truth be told, likely won’t single-handedly save our ailing club as he did all those years ago. But his inclusion in any sort of potential deal is incredibly important for the club moving forward - and I think deep down, that’s what fans are excited about.
Would Niall Quinn be a perfect chairman for a club struggling financially? Likely not. But one thing that is for certain is that Niall Quinn would be a positive influence on any potential takeover bid for a number of reasons.
We’re told Quinn has no interest in returning to football in a hands-on role either. We understand the co tact between Quinn and the consortium was a while back. https://t.co/zFkRxaynIb— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) March 26, 2018
You see, what’s so endearing about the big man is the fact that he wouldn’t look at this club in terms of pounds and pennies. He wouldn’t find himself bogged down by projections and budgets. He’d know what lies at the heart of this club - despite the fact financials are the crux of any potential deal - is that the only way to revitalise Sunderland AFC would be to re-instill a sense of hope, community and pride.
Niall Quinn knows this club and this city like the back of his hand. He is more vital to any potential takeover than many of us could possibly imagine. We’ve suffered for so long under a regime that has stumbled from chaos to catastrophe throwing money as voids in an attempt to halt our own ruin, when in reality a club with a solid infrastructure and people in touch with the ever-changing world of football in positions of power would stand us in good stead moving forward.
Ultimately, we should be excited by Niall Quinn’s potential involvement in a takeover, but perhaps not as a lauded figure we hope will reinstate out club to its former status as a Premier League side.
Instead, Niall Quinn brings the voice of the fans to the table, he bring our passion and love of this club to the forefront of any discussion, and that is something we need right now in abundance.