Monday 17 December 2018

'It was pantomime stuff ' - Paul McGrath hits out at the FAI over their handling of the Martin O'Neill affair

Martin O'Neill and (inset) Paul McGrath
Martin O'Neill and (inset) Paul McGrath

Paul McGrath believes FAI chiefs have big questions to answer in a week that saw Ireland boss Martin O'Neill stage talks with Stoke City over a move to the Premier League club.

O'Neill has yet to sign the new contract he was offered to continue as Ireland manager and has been linked with vacancies at Everton and Stoke in recent weeks, although reports breaking on Sunday night suggested he was set to remain as Ireland boss after all.

Now Ireland legend McGrath has claimed FAI officials have ‘taken their eye off the ball' at their Abbotstown HQ, as he served up some feisty views in his column for the Sunday World.

"There are too many people now in Abbotstown who aren't football people, they are coming from other backgrounds and have taken their eye off the ball," stated McGrath.

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"For me, Martin is a good manager and is always going to be linked with available jobs unless he is tied down – and someone in the FAI is not on top of their job.

"I know it's a few weeks after Christmas, but it was pantomime stuff from the FAI last week, it belonged on the stage. It was farcical, they seemed afraid to say a word about the whole business.

"Irish football deserves better than to have a situation where it seemed that managing Stoke, a club clearly on a downward curve, and who were rejected by another manager yesterday, is deemed a better job than managing Ireland. That's where we stood last week."

Read Paul McGrath's column in today's Sunday World

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