Date:Wednesday June 14 2006
Bob Murray has announced that he is to step down as Sunderland chairman at the end of the month.
For several months Murray has been holding talks with a consortium headed by Niall Quinn, with the aim of selling control of the club on to the Irishman. With a lack of news on the progress of the bid worrying many Sunderland fans, todays news suggests that an end to the long running saga is imminent.
Murray, who has been at the club for 20 years, spoke exclusively to the Sunderland Echo about his resignation, and revealed that his decision was taken in order to help the bid,
'I have done this job for 20 years and I know for a fact that 99 per cent of the fans are good humoured and want the best for the club. I do too and if it means I need to resign to make the sale happen then that is what I will do.'
And for many fans who insist on not returning to the club until Murray has completely left, his following message will no doubt satisfy them,
'I want fans to know for certain that I will not be the Chairman of this football club at the start of next season. I am removing myself as an issue. The club is the only important thing, not me.
'This is another big step towards my total exit from the club. It's consistent with what I have been saying for a long time now. It's time for someone else to take up the reins.'
There have also been reports that vice chairman John Fickling has also offered to hand in his resignation should the takeover succeed.
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