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Irish need more from Gio for such enormous salary

BY the time the last maracas and samba drums are put away and the bunting shredded in the wind in Rio in two years' time, Giovanni Trapattoni will have banked a remarkable €10m from his stint as Ireland manager.

That's a number worth stepping back from for a moment. Even allowing for a 50pc contribution from Denis O'Brien, it's still an awful lot of money for a small football association on the periphery of Europe.

Across the country, schoolboy clubs are fighting a daily battle to survive amidst the worst funding famine we've ever seen and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

The debate about Trapattoni's salary in those circles has been hot and heavy with many deeply worried about the future of their clubs and finding it hard to justify such a huge amount of money.

Perhaps that's one of the reasons why the FAI have yet to confirm that they have struck a deal with Trapattoni, or indeed that O'Brien is on board for the long haul.

It may seem like a no-brainer to sign Trap up for another two years, but a huge financial commitment like this should never be rushed -- particularly now that there is no need.

Over the weekend, Trapattoni did what he has done many times before and declared that the contract issue was complete and all that was left was for him to put pen to paper.

He gave some carefully rehearsed quotes to a select group of Sunday newspaper journalists and created the impression that only small details remained to be ironed out. "It is agreed in principle," he said.


He will be in Dublin this week before heading for Kiev and the Euro 2012 draw on Friday, and the presumption is that any outstanding issues will be agreed before a formal announcement is made.

He's a cute fox is Trapattoni and, so far, he has made all the running on the subject of a new deal.

Happy to drop quotes about his future plans as early as a year ago, he continued to create headlines in the run up to Ireland's play-off with Estonia, claiming that he deserved a new deal.


In fact, at this time every year for the last three, he has been happy to drop hints about other 'jobs' and third-party interest in signing him up which left the suggestion hanging in the air that the FAI were dithering.

But they were not. The FAI took a considered approach to Trapattoni's re-employment and, given the huge salary involved and the times we live in, that was an entirely sensible thing to do.

If they are still mulling it over, that is a reasonable position to take, even if Trapattoni claims that, "it's not about money".

When the FAI agreed the first deal with him three years ago, Trapattoni was given a free hand to do whatever it took to qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

He fell short in that regard but completed his task by delivering the keys to Euro 2012 and he has undoubtedly earned a new gig.

But surely it would be right at this stage to ask Trapattoni to give a greater commitment to his job than he has done before.

If he achieved qualification sitting in his armchair in Italy, imagine what he might be able to do if he engaged fully and spent some time travelling to the grounds across England in which Ireland's professional footballers earn their wages.