Sbragia warns rivals off stars

06 March 2009 01:17
Ricky Sbragia has informed Sunderland's Premier League rivals that the Black Cats are not a feeder club.

The North East outfit have established themselves within the Premier League over the course of the last two seasons, cementing their standing among England's elite.

They have an ambitious chairman in Niall Quinn, while the Drumaville consortium and American investor Ellis Short are also keen to see the club progress further in the future.

That means the club are in the fortunate position of being able to fend off any approaches for their most saleable assets.

Tottenham were persistent in their endeavours to land Kenwyne Jones during the January transfer window, but Sbragia insists Sunderland never had, or ever will have, any intention of parting with their key men.

"I wasn't happy how it was being dealt with, but it's forgotten now," Sbragia send of Spurs' efforts to lure Jones to London.

"In general, maybe previously, Sunderland would have probably sold Kenwyne, but we have changed it a little bit.

Quality"We want to progress and the only way we are going to progress is by keeping our best players.

"Then we have got to get to that situation where we need to bring in better quality, spend some money and bring in better quality during the summer.

"I don't think we are here to produce players for other clubs in the Premier League.

"I could understand in a sense if it was a top-four club, I could understand that one.

"But we spoke to him and the good thing about Kenwyne was he didn't want to go.

"That was important for us. He seems settled here, his family is settled and he seems to love it."

Source: SKY_Sports