Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ellis Determined Cats Won't Fall Short

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ellis Determined Cats Won't Fall Short

Article excerpt

ELLIS Short wants to make Sunderland a permanent fixture in the Premier League's top ten - and believes the biggest sponsorship deal in the club's history shows they mean business, writes MARK DOUGLAS.

The Black Cats have announced a two-year deal with not-for-profit business initiative Invest in Africa, a partnership which will see them play with the organisation's logo on their shirts from the start of next season (as worn on by Craig Gardner, pictured left).

The club see the sponsorship deal as a key part of their attempts to turn Sunderland into a global brand.

One partner in the Invest in Africa organisation claimed the increased exposure can help the Black Cats become the "biggest club in Africa."

The new sponsorship deal is a sign of a club in rude health offthe-field, but on it Short admits to disappointment at finishing in 13th place last season.

Although determined to bring stability through gradual improvement, he admits the bottomhalf finish is "not good enough" and knows the pressure is on to improve next term.

He said: "The first step is getting into the Premier League - we are there. The next step is staying in it and the next step after that is being considered an established Premier League team.

"There is a lot of pressure, not just to stay in the Premier League but to improve. We are not happy with finishing 13th - we are not happy at all - but we realise you need steady progress, you need continual progress. "We do not want to finish seventh twice in a row and get relegated the next season., which has happened in the past. "We do feel with Martin, and with the progress we have made, we are wellpositioned. "We want to be well within the top ten - we cannot promise that but we are not happy with where we are and we do want to continue to improve. "Yes, there is a huge pressure to do so - both from the fans' expectations and from the sheer size of the economics involved in the Premier League. …

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