DEAL done and dusted and sighs of relief all around. Giovanni Trapattoni will travel the road to Brazil as Ireland’s senior manager after signing on the dotted line in Dublin today.
The worst kept secret in Irish sport was finally confirmed early this morning with a simple press release and no grand announcement
Which was fair enough. The times we live in dictate that every big earner is subject to hyper scrutiny and Trapattoni’s €3m package is big enough to warrant a decent debate.
But the FAI Board did just that and gave proper consideration to the amount offered in a contract extension, given the austerity being felt by individuals and indeed football clubs across the country.
“I am very happy to continue my job with the FAI. I have always said that Marco and I believe very strongly in the work that we are doing to grow and develop the Irish team,” said Trap.
“It is a huge honour and a privilege to represent the Irish team and we look forward to continuing this important task.”
No details of the amount being paid to Trapattoni over the next two years were revealed but it is believed that he will earn €1.5m a year, which is a reduction of about €500k from the high water mark he enjoyed when he first became the Ireland manager.
It is also obvious from the fact that the FAI had to ask Denis O’Brien once again to help out with Trapattoni’s salary, and indeed the redundancies in Abbotstown which were announced while manager and players were in Estonia, that recessionary times are biting hard.
But qualification lifts all boats and apart altogether from the €8m or so the FAI is expected to rake in for direct involvement in the finals, it is impossible to put a value on the huge morale boost to the nation as a whole.
Trapattoni will not be too put out by the cut in his salary. He knows his own worth and once he had secured qualification, he knew that he could command just as big a fee anywhere else in the world.
By reaching the Euro 2012 finals, he confirmed that his approach to the game is still as valid today as it was when he started out in management 30 years ago and more.
As he said himself, “ we deserves a new deal,” and nobody could really argue with that.
When the final tot is made at the end of his stint Trapattoni, his assistant Marco Tardelli and one of the best-paid fitness coaches in the game Fausto Rossi, will have netted a remarkable €10m between them.
First out of the blocks to offer congratulations to Trapattoni was FAI President Paddy McCaul.
“I am delighted that we have been able to retain the services of Giovan
ni Trapattoni. He brings a wealth of experience and a great working relationship with the FAI and the players,” said McCaul.
“The fact that we have gone into the last two campaigns as third seeds and have finished second in both, as well as being seeded for the play-offs in the Euro 2012 campaign, speaks volumes about his ability to deliver.
“I would like to congratulate Giovanni, Marco and Fausto on this renewed appointment and thank Denis O’Brien for his continued generosity.”
O’Brien is obviously comfortable with the fact that he has had to dig deep again to help keep the Trapattoni show on the road.
“Giovanni Trapattoni has done a tremendous job in bringing Ireland to qualification for the Euros for the first time since 1988. His professionalism, experience and close working relationship with the players has developed a squad which has grown in self-belief and determination,” said O’Brien.
“The squad is showing plenty of potential for further improvement during the coming campaign. I am delighted to continue my partnership with the FAI, Giovanni Trapattoni and the Irish squad.”
FAI CEO John Delaney also welcomed the appointment: “On behalf of the FAI Board of management, we are very happy to agree a contract extension with Giovanni Trapattoni and his team of Marco Tardelli and Fausto Rossi.
“They have done fantastic work with the squad, bringing us to qualification for a major tournament for the first time in ten years, increasing our world ranking to 21st and introducing many new players for the future.
“Giovanni’s experience, professionalism and achievement in qualifying for Euro 2012 has impressed everyone including the players and the FAI Board.
“The FAI Board of Management are particularly grateful to Denis O’Brien for his continuing contribution which gives the Irish team and supporters the benefit of Giovanni’s services into the next World Cup campaign.”