Sunderland chairman Bob Murray believes Niall Quinn will do 'everything in his power' to turn the club around should the former Black Cats striker lead his consortium to a successful takeover.
Quinn was hailed as a hero as he returned to Wearside this afternoon.
The Irishman, who is heading a consortium which is in talks to buy out under-fire chairman Murray, arrived at the Stadium of Light ahead of the Premiership clash against Arsenal.
Murray is eager to step down and hand over to the former Republic of Ireland international, saying: 'I've been here 20 years and murderers don't get that long.
'So I'm delighted about today, I don't think there will be anyone in the stadium today happier than me.'
Murray told Sky Sports: 'If it was down to me, this deal would be done. I really want to see it through personally.
'Football needs people like Niall Quinn. He's awesome, and thought of so highly - and rightly so. I know he is the right choice for this job.
'The people here are very special and I know Niall will do them justice. He will do everything in his power to make it happy days for the Sunderland people.'
Hundreds of fans gathered at the main entrance to the stadium to welcome back the man who wore the number nine shirt with distinction during his time as a player with the club.
Quinn said: 'Our bidding vehicle is currently in discussions with Sunderland and unfortunately Stock Exchange rules mean I can't really say how that is going, but it hopefully will lead to an offer and an offer that is satisfactory.
'The only thing I can say is that you don't play a game of poker by telling the other guys what's in your hand. Let's just put it this way: my guys might have a good hand.'
Quinn was cheered as he stepped from a car along with Murray and spent several minutes signing autographs before being photographed shaking hands with the current chairman and then heading in to the directors' suite.
Sunderland confirmed to the Stock Exchange on Friday evening that they had opened talks with Quinn and his partners.
It is understood that the Irish consortium will initially plough around £15million into the club, which still has debts amounting to around £40million.
The Black Cats went into today's game already relegated and knowing that anything other than victory - something they had not achieved at home in the league this season in 17 previous attempts - would see them secure a new unwanted record for the fewest number of points collected in a Premiership season.