Belfast Telegraph

Ronnie McFall Portadown resignation: We ask the questions fans want answered

By Steven Beacom

Ronnie McFall has left the Portadown managerial hotseat after almost 30 years. This season has been tumultuous for him and the club. Following his decision to quit, we ask the questions fans want answered.

STEVEN BEACOM: So Ronnie, you resigned after losing to Lurgan Celtic in the Irish Cup on Saturday. Why then?

RONNIE McFALL: The Lurgan Celtic defeat, difficult and all as it was to take, I had made my decision to go before then after things that I had picked up in recent weeks.

SB: What things? All season there has been speculation about Portadown players not getting paid, financial problems and even issues with how you and your wife Anne were being treated at the club. Are those the 'things' you refer to?

RM: I don't want to comment on that. There are some people in the football fraternity who know what is going on behind the scenes, but I won't comment on that. I don't want to rubbish the club in any way.

SB: Okay then, did the players let you down on the pitch with their performances as many have suggested?

RM: I'll answer you this way. When you finish the season whether you are at the top or the bottom of the league, you look to freshen things up to give you impetus for the next campaign. We didn't do that at the end of last season. Everyone at the club was psychologically damaged by the Irish Cup final defeat to Glentoran, directors, staff, players and supporters and everybody needed a lift. You get that lift by signing new players. We had to push on and we didn't do that.

SB: Why not?

RM: They said there was no money available.

SB: So, what is the financial situation at Portadown?

RM: That's nothing to do with me.

SB: This season has been tough for you with fans calling for you to go and putting banners up. How did you feel about that?

RM: I haven't a problem with that. I will quote Mickey Harte the Tyrone manager who once came out with the statement 'everyone is entitled to their own opinion even though their knowledge on the subject is limited'. Supporters weren't fully aware or didn't appreciate what was going on behind the scenes. A situation was going on which had nothing to do with management.

SB: What was that situation?

RM: I'm not getting into it. I don't want to get into controversy.

SB: Looking back do you think you stayed a season too long as Portadown boss?

RM: It's hard to know. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

SB: Where do Portadown go from here and do you care?

RM: Obviously I want to see them do well. Where do they go from here? That's for other people to decide.

SB: A controversial issue in Irish League football this season has been undisclosed payments. What's your view on that Ronnie?

RM: I'm not getting into that.

SB: Will you go to Irish League games in the future?

RM: Yes, I will go to matches, no question about that.

SB: Will you go to Shamrock Park?

RM: I'll go to different matches.

SB: So, you won't go to Shamrock Park?

RM: I never said that. I will go to different matches with my friends.

SB: How would you like to be remembered by people involved with the Irish League?

RM: What pleases me is people coming up to me and showing me respect for what I have done for Glentoran, Portadown and Irish League football. It is important to me that people respect me.

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