Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Republic of Ireland break bank to get Martin O'Neill

Martin O'Neill was the FAI's first choice to take over from Giovanni Trapattoni as Republic of Ireland manager
Martin O'Neill was the FAI's first choice to take over from Giovanni Trapattoni as Republic of Ireland manager

The Football Association of Ireland have got their dream team – but it will be a nightmare paying them.

Martin O'Neill is expected to be confirmed as the new Republic of Ireland manager in the next few days – with Roy Keane as his assistant.

But the Ulsterman will cost the cash-strapped association at least €1.2m (just over £1m) a year in wages, while Keane will command a €700,000 (£593,000) salary.

And former Northern Ireland captain O'Neill will also bank an €800,000 bonus if he takes the Republic to the Euro 2016 finals. Although modest by Premier League standards, the salaries put O'Neill and Keane among the best-paid international coaches in Europe.

It is understood that Celtic supremo Dermot Desmond, a close personal friend of 61-year-old O'Neill, was a significant force in helping seal the deal.

And Irish businessman Denis O'Brien, who part-funded Giovanni Trapattoni's reign, is reported to have agreed to continue similar financial support for a further two years.

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