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Fenlon's move to Dundee United hits a snag

PAT FENLON has agreed to become the new manager of Dundee United but his move from Dalymount to Tannadice is deadlocked over the matter of compensation.

Fenlon spent yesterday in Dundee checking out of the facilities at the SPL club. He was impressed by the set-up and, after spending three hours in discussions during which he secured an improved salary, he duly agreed to take the job subject to compensation being sorted out.

However, Bohemians insist they will not let their manager go for less than £250,000 and last night they were waiting for a response from the SPL club, who are not prepared to stump up anything near that amount.

Fenlon could opt to resign his position at Dalymount, but Bohs secretary Gerry Conway says that the 40-year-old has given an assurance that he will not take that course of action.

Bohs told Dundee United on Tuesday that they wanted £500,000 in compensation and, while they will end up accepting less than that figure, they refuse to go below the £250,000 quoted by St Johnstone for original first choice, Derek McInnes, which forced United to look elsewhere.

That amount was significant because it's what United pocketed in compensation from the SFA when Craig Levein accepted the job as national team boss last month.

"We value our manager higher than St Johnstone value theirs," argued Conway.

The situation is complicated by murmurs about the financial well-being of Dundee United, who are understood to be contemplating appointing an interim manager until the end of the season if they are unable to secure a desired target now.

Shamrock Rovers supremo Michael O'Neill and Raith Rovers boss John McGlynn are the other two managers who interest Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson, yet he would face further compensation issues in both cases.

Indeed, it's believed the amount they were expecting to pay was less than £100,000 because of their confidence that a clause existed in the four-year contract Fenlon signed last January which allowed him to depart relatively cheaply.

Bohs insist that is not the case and, in addition to remaining contract length, they factored potential prize-money winnings into their initial demand. Conway says Fenlon is conscious of their stance and told him that he would not leave Bohs in the lurch.

"Pat told me that he has agreed terms with them and wants to take the job subject to compensation being agreed," he said. "He's also told me that he wants Bohemians to be treated properly because he has respect for people at the club. Pat said that he will not take the job by walking away. He doesn't want anyone to be pulling a stroke.

"I'm beginning to think they (Dundee United) are being discourteous to Bohemian Football Club. I've heard nothing from them yet, and I cannot agree compensation if they don't phone me," Conway concluded.

Irish Independent