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Former Home Secretary David Miliband is set to become vice-chairman of Sunderland Football Club.

Despite being a fan of north London giants Arsenal, Miliband is the MP for Sunderland's neighbouring town of South Shields in the North East of England.

The club's chairman, Irishman Niall Quinn, said: "We're always challenging ourselves to find new ways to grow and develop the club and to make it stronger.

"We have had talks with David Miliband about a non executive role at the club but have nothing further to report at the moment."

David Miliband was Foreign Secretary under PM Gordon Brown from June 2007 to May 2010, but he stepped down from frontline politics in September after losing out to his younger brother Ed in the race to become the Labour Party's new leader.

Sunderland, nicknamed The Black Cats, have also had highs and lows in recent years. They were promoted to the top-flight Premier League (then known as the Premiership) from the Championship (then known as the First Division) as the division's champions in 1999 with a then-record 105 points. Their first two seasons in the Premier League saw them do well, with two consecutive seventh placed finished, but in 2003 they were relegated back down to the Championship with a then record-low 19 points. But in 2005 they again won the Championship and were promoted to the Premier League, but were relegated again in 2006 with yet another Premier League record-low of 15 points. Eventually, former Manchester United star Roy Keane was appointed their manager and he won them promotion back into the Premier League in 2007, where they have been ever since. They are currently managed by former Manchester United star Steve Bruce. They play at the 49,000 capacity Stadium of Light are are currently sixth in the Premier League.

David Miliband set for role on Sunderland FC board

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is hoping that David Miliband can help him make the Premier League club flourish.


New man on board: David Milliband is set to become vice-chairman at Sunderland FC Photo: GETTY IMAGES

By Rob Stewart
12 Jan 2011
The Telegraph

Quinn spoke out as he confirmed talks had been held with the former Foreign Secretary, who is the Labour MP for neighbouring South Shields, over a role in the corridors of power at the Stadium of Light.

"We're always challenging ourselves to find new ways to grow and develop the club and to make it stronger," Quinn said.

"We have had talks with David Miliband about a non executive role at the club but have nothing further to report at the moment."

Miliband, who is an Arsenal supporter, is reported to be keen on a role at Sunderland and his position would focus on his international and community work.




Reports that he would be handed a 50,000 salary as vice-chairman have not been confirmed.

A spokesman for Mr Miliband had earlier said discussions had taken place about a role which would focus on the MP's "international and community work".

He said: "David Miliband is determined to continue to serve his constituency and pursue his interests in foreign and environmental policy.

"Discussions have taken place between David Miliband and Sunderland AFC about a non-executive role with the club focusing on his international and community work."


Sunderland players celebrate a goal during their 4-0 win over Premier League rivals Bolton Wanderers in March 2010

telegraph.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Jan 12th, 2011 at 01:08 PM..