Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn is hoping former Foreign Secretary David Miliband will help the club achieve a higher profile around the world.
News of the South Shields MP's impending appointment to the Black Cats' board leaked out last week, much to Quinn's annoyance, and he is expected to be announced as a non-executive director next month.
Writing in his programme notes ahead of this afternoon's derby clash with Newcastle, the chairman said: "Welcoming David Miliband to the club would be tremendous because he would challenge us in our thinking.
"We have been on the look-out for someone who can bring an extra dimension to us as a club.
"If that person could champion our ethos of community involvement, then that would be even better.
"Should that person be intelligent and able to help the real football people, i.e. genuine football fans, then better still. If the same person is able to help the club in the wider world, that would be a fabulous asset to us."