Tuesday 26 March 2019

No compensation for Lilywhites from FAI

James Rogers

Dundalk FC will receive no compensation for losing manager Stephen Kenny to the Republic of Ireland.

While it was led to believe that Kenny had a minimal release clause in his contract, FAI chief executive John Delaney told reporters at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday that no payments for Kenny's services would be made to the double champions, despite the fact the 47-year-old was contracted up until the end of the 2020 campaign.

Delaney said: 'There's no compensation to Dundalk.' He went on to praise the Lilywhites for their understanding over losing a man who has brought 10 trophies to the club since taking charge at the start of the 2013 campaign. 'Dundalk were brilliant,' said Delaney when asked had he sought permission from the club before speaking to the new Ireland U-21 boss. 'I spoke to Dundalk yesterday (Saturday) and Mike Treacy and Mal Brannigan were brilliant.

'They understood that if he was moving from a club to another club that that would be different from moving from his club to his country. They knew that Stephen wanted this job and they were first class. You have to be fair to Dundalk too because had we let it go on for another month then Dundalk have to appoint a manager to prepare for next season. So we had to be fair to Dundalk Football Club in terms of implementing the vision that we wanted.'

Delaney confirmed that: 'the manager until 2020 is Mick McCarthy and the manager after that is Stephen Kenny,' with the latter receiving a two year deal up until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The FAI supremo revealed the association had identified Kenny for the U-21 role when Noel King stepped down - a role the now former Dundalk boss is believed to have rejected - but stepped up their pursuit of him when Martin O'Neill was shown the door last week.

'Stephen Kenny we wanted when Noel King had stepped down,' said Delaney. 'He was someone I wanted, who Ruud (Dokter) wanted and who the board wanted to take the U-21 job and manage the underage teams as well. 'When the decision regarding Martin and Roy was made, the board met and the vision of Mick McCarthy managing the senior team for two years and the vision of Stephen managing the 21s and beneath and also Stephen taking the job in 2020, those discussions took place then.

'The job that I had to do then, along with Ruud, was to have those discussions and get them done and I think we did. We got them done quickly and well. I think it sets out a great path and vision for Irish football. Mick has a project to qualify for the Euros. That's his role. Stephen is excited about coming into the 21s and working with the underage teams and he's also excited about taking over the senior team.'

Asked had Kenny pushed for the senior role, Delaney said: 'Definitely. I don't want to get into what he said and  I said,  but Stephen has been public and private about wanting to manage the A team. He's absolutely thrilled with this vision. 'He never had to persuade me that at some stage he should manage the Irish international A team. Never. Never any board member and never Ruud.'

Delaney confirmed that the new arrangement meant that a new U-21 boss would need to be appointed before the 2021 European Championships, a campaign Kenny will kick-off trying to qualify for but not finish. Despite this, the FAI boss said he felt Kenny could do a lot of good work in between. 'He has still got 20 months and he's also got the 19s, the 17s, the 16s, the 15s. I spoke to him earlier and he's excited about going over to Europe to watch international teams play and talking to international managers because it's a big change and he knows that. He's also looking forward to working with and learning from Mick McCarthy.

'He'll sit down with Jim Crawford and Colin O'Brien and Tom Mohan but to be fair to Martin that was going on for the last 12 months. It wasn't as if this wasn't happening but it's his remit now. They'll be reporting to him.'

The Argus