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2004
  1. Football Foundation

    Invitation to join the Football Foundation Board

      Bob was invited by the Premier League to sit on the Board of the Football Foundation in 2004. The Board had a budget of approximately £40m per year to invest in football stadia and…

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    Football Foundation

    Bob was invited by the Premier League to sit on the Board of the Football Foundation in 2004. The Board had a budget of approximately £40m per year to invest in football stadia and the scheme was inclusive to all clubs throughout the country.

    The scheme was introduced at a time when many clubs outside of the Premier League were still catching up with the Taylor Report and lots of stands were being closed down in need of modernisation. During Bob’s time on the Board it awarded approximately £100m to clubs throughout the country.

    In the same year Sunderland PLC de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. Bob later sold the club to Niall Quinn and his Irish consortium (Drumaville) for £5.7m in 2006.

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1990
  1. Roker Park

    All seater stadiums introduced

    Terrible tragedies in football signalled a great change in football following Bradford, Heysel and Hillsborough. The requirement of the Taylor Report for all seater-stadia in England meant that Sunderland would need to re-develop or move…

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    Roker Park

    Terrible tragedies in football signalled a great change in football following Bradford, Heysel and Hillsborough. The requirement of the Taylor Report for all seater-stadia in England meant that Sunderland would need to re-develop or move to a new stadium.

    With only 7,000 seats, a total ground capacity of just 22,657 and limited commercial facilities Bob also recognised that Sunderland could not sustain a top flight team and compete at the highest level in the future. It was not feasible to re-develop Roker Park into a world class stadium and Bob realised he would have to find the funding and build a new stadium.

    Bob said “Back in those days, the turnover at Roker Park was only a couple of million pounds, not a great platform to build a world class stadium. We had to find a way to fund stadium (that eventually cost £22m) and ultimately floating the club on the stock market in 1996 made that possible. “

    A new stadium was vital for the long term future of the club because, “without a world class stage you can’t attract world class stars, whether that’s players or managers.”

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