Fenlon to consider walking out on Bohs if deal not struck
PAT FENLON will seriously consider walking out on Bohemians if the Dublin club cannot agree an amicable compensation package with Dundee United for his services by 6.0 this evening.
United chairman Stephen Thompson spoke to the Bohs board on speakerphone during their meeting with Fenlon last night, where the manager explained his desire to move to Tannadice and reiterated his desire for a settlement that suits all parties.
However, the two clubs remain apart in their evaluation of the deal, although Bohs have agreed to budge on the assertion that they will settle for no less than £250,000.
Yet they deny that the back-down is related to wrangling over unpaid bonuses in Fenlon’s contract. The 40-year-old sought legal advice before his meeting with the Bohs board which indicated that the unpaid bonuses – related to the four trophies he won – would constitute a breach of his contract, which has three years remaining.
Bohs Secretary Gerry Conway said the figure involved was minimal and denied that it has affected negotiations.
THE Phibsborough club claim they are expecting an income boost this weekend which would cover the amount.
The Fenlon team believe that the Dubliner would be within his rights to waive the bonuses and take the Tannadice job, but do not wish to go down that path and have communicated that belief to the SPL side, who are also keen to resolve matters cordially, having lost Craig Levein in unhappy circumstances to the SFA last month.
Dundee United are determined to avoid a potentially messy legal dispute and are understood to be willing to shell out more than the nominal fee of £50,000 that has been floated in the Scottish media.
However, they are reluctant to go beyond the £100,000 mark, even though Bohemians remain optimistic that they can get closer to their new target of £200,000.
The deadlock has frustrated Fenlon who, after agreeing terms, now has his heart set on the new challenge and will have to contemplate quitting if the impasse continues.
Conway’s assertion that Fenlon will remain if there’s no resolution by 6.0pm appears overly optimistic. “I can’t see Pat staying,” said a source close to Fenlon last night. “It’s gone too far.”
Thompson contacted Bohemians president Robert Dunne prior to the Gypsies’ board meeting and stressed a desire to work things out to everybody’s satisfaction.
“I don’t know why it took them so long to contact us,” said Conway, “because when we spoke, it was all very polite and they seem to want to go about things the right way.”
The new friendship will be tested by the manner in which affairs play out today.