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2012

October 2012

  1. RSM-LEEDSMET12-e1358176126828

    Sir Bob Murray to be appointed Chancellor at Leeds Metropolitan University

    On 15th October, Leeds Metropolitan announced that Sir Bob Murray CBE is to become the new Chancellor of the University. Sir Bob, who was described as a businessman, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of education, will…

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    On 15th October, Leeds Metropolitan announced that Sir Bob Murray CBE is to become the new Chancellor of the University.
    Sir Bob, who was described as a businessman, philanthropist, and passionate supporter of education, will be officially installed as Chancellor at a formal ceremony at the university early 2013.

    Bob has been a leading business figure in Yorkshire for the last 43 years but is probably best known for his chairmanship of Sunderland AFC. He is also heavily involved with charitable causes and education: he is co-sponsor of Academy 360 which educates 4-16 year olds and aims to break cycles of educational underachievement and he set up the pioneering Foundation of Light charity to bring benefits to the community in the north east and beyond.

    Bob’s connection to Leeds Met dates back to 1969 when he moved to Yorkshire to study accountancy at the university’s predecessor institution, Leeds Polytechnic. Some years later, in 2008, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in business administration by Leeds Metropolitan for his contribution to business and sport.

    Sir Bob said: “I feel very privileged to have been invited to become the Chancellor of such an esteemed Institution as Leeds Metropolitan University and was thrilled to accept. It is a highly-respected University that plays such an important role in developing the potential and talent of thousands of students from many different parts of the world.“As a former graduate and as someone who has worked in Yorkshire for more than 40 years it will be a great honour to take on such a leading role with the University. I hope my experience and track record in business, lifelong focus on education, and passion for sport will give me the necessary qualities to support the University, its outstanding staff and the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and professionals to achieve their ambitious and exciting aspirations.”

    The Video FramePlay Button Professor Susan Price, Vice Chancellor of Leeds Metropolitan, said: “We are delighted that Sir Bob is to become Chancellor of our University. Sir Bob shares our core values and is passionate about both education and making a difference to people in their communities. We are proud of so many things here at our university: 9 out of 10 of our graduates are in work or continuing their studies within 6 months of leaving us; we have achieved our best ever student satisfaction ratings this year, and our newly launched Research Institutes showcase our internationally recognised research, making a difference to real life issues such as men’s health and sustainable futures. Myself and my colleagues are really looking forward to working with Sir Bob and I know he will be a fantastic champion for our university.

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2006
  1. 2006

    Sir Bob steps down

    In 2004, Bob decided it was time to consider the long term future of the club he loved and started a meticulous search to find a new owner. He believed that protecting the heritage of…

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    In 2004, Bob decided it was time to consider the long term future of the club he loved and started a meticulous search to find a new owner. He believed that protecting the heritage of the club and ensuring that its philosophy, values and character were not lost was a huge personal responsibility. He knew it was not a case of finding just any new owner; he had to find the right new owner who would care as much about Sunderland in the future as he and its fans did.

    Early in the sales process Niall Quinn contacted Bob and expressed an interest in investing in the club. At the time Bob responded positively by telling Niall that he needed “to own the club, not just invest in it” and urged him to go and find investors.

    The process to sell the football club proved not to be an easy one and a number of approaches from the wrong type of investor had to be rebuffed. In early 2005, the Sunderland Board decided to widen the net by appointing a leading international sports finance firm based in New York to help. All the Board were actively involved in searching for the right new owner and made several secret visits to New York to meet potential buyers including representatives of the Kraft family.

    By the end of 2005 the sale of the club to a new American owner was in the advanced stages of due diligence when Niall Quinn finally returned to say he had put together a consortium of Irish investors (Drumaville). Bob was in the midst of negotiating the transfer to Niall Quinn when he stepped down as Chairman in June 2006.

    Bob ultimately sold the club at a much reduced valuation of just £5.7m to Quinn and said: “The club was the only thing that mattered. I’d dedicated a big part of my life to Sunderland but it was time for me to take a back seat and let someone else take up the reins.

    “Unlike many clubs, Sunderland was not leveraged in anyway and there was no debt other than the working overdraft. The stadium and academy had been built and paid for. It was a turn-key operation for a new owner so there was a great platform in place for someone else to build on.

    “The most important thing for me was protecting the history and legacy of the club. I felt a huge sense of responsibility passing the club on to the right hands, not just any hands.”

    It was to be a historic year in football terms and the end of era for Bob as he became the Premiership’s longest-serving Chairman, stepped down as Chairman of SAFC after 22 years, finally sold the club to Niall Quinn and his Drumaville consortium and was later appointed Honorary Life President.

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