Republic of Ireland break bank to get Martin O'Neill
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.