Belfast Telegraph

Michael O'Neill stays with Northern Ireland after rejecting 'huge honour' of Scotland offer


Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Michael O'Neill has turned down Scotland's approach and will remain as Northern Ireland manager.

The SFA had agreed to pay O'Neill's £500,000 release fee and had discussions with the boss last week.

After taking the weekend to consider his decision, O'Neill announced after 1pm on Monday that he had rejected Scotland's offer.

"Having given the matter a great deal of thought and consideration, I have decided not to take up the opportunity to become the next Scotland National team manager," said O'Neill.

"It's a huge honour to be offered the position however I do not feel that this is the right opportunity for me at this moment in my career.

"I would like to place on record my gratitude to the SFA for the very professional manner in which they conducted negotiations and I would also like to wish them every success for the future."

Scotland's offer was said to be a £500,000 salary and a lucrative bonus should he end their 20 year wait to reach a major tournament.

However, the Irish FA tabled a six-year contract offer of £700,000 per year, hoping to persuade him to remain at the helm of Northern Ireland. Now it seems the IFA have been successful in their quest to keep the man who guided NI to the Euro 2016 finals and to within a whisker of qualification for the World Cup.

O'Neill will now travel as Northern Ireland manager to Lausanne for Wednesday's UEFA Nations Cup draw.

Belfast Telegraph


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