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'No other country would allow it' - Eamon Dunphy bewildered by 'understanding' Martin O'Neill has with the FAI

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eamon Dunphy can't understand how Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill is allowed to speak to Premier League clubs.

The Derry native signed a new two-year deal with the FAI earlier this week and FAI CEO John Delaney had previously revealed that the 65-year-old had an 'understanding' which allowed him to hold talks with clubs from England's top flight

Speaking on Game On on 2FM, the former Ireland international claimed that this situation would not be tolerated anywhere else.

"What did we learn that's new? We didn't know that Martin O'Neill had a clause in his contract that allowed him to go to a Premier League club of one approached him," he said.

"Whether he did or not I don't know but that's what they claim now.

"No other country would allow it.

"No other country would allow that situation to drag on for three months with an unsigned contract on the table with the manager and his assistant reportedly having discussions with Stoke and also reportedly having some sort of discussion with Everton who were also looking for a manager in that period.

"It would be unacceptable for any other football association in the world and for any international set-up in any sport."

Dunphy also criticised O'Neill's conduct in his interview with RTE's Tony O'Donoghue following the draw for the UEFA Nations League on Wednesday.

"Then there was his unprofessional and rather bad mannered interview with Tony O'Donoghue of RTE," he added.

"It's not the first time we've seen him let himself down in that way. I found that offensive, disrespectful of the press anbd the role they play in representing fans and asking questions they want answered.

"I don't think Martin O'Neill has shone himself in a very good light and I think, perhaps, fans will remember this and somebody should be held accountable for it and that is the FAI and John Delaney and they haven't been.

"If any other international manager and his team were hammered 5-1 at home with a miserable performance, wrong tactics, bad decision making... that there wouldn't be comment on it. That people would turn a blind eye to it.

"Why is he getting paid? He gets paid a huge amount of money. Probably in the top three or four in international football. What does he want?"

News that England manager Gareth Southgate appears to be interested in getting Ireland underage international Declan Rice to switch allegiances has also irked Dunphy.

"While this three month hiatus has been there. This young lad at West Ham, (Declan) Rice, looks now as if we may have let him slip through our hands and he could qualify and play for England.

"I think that's neglect.

"Somebody should have been in that job for three months. We effectively had no manager or assistant for three months when there was work to be done."

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