Belfast Telegraph

Wales chief knows he can't stop Coleman leaving for Premier job

By Robert Jones

Chris Coleman is "absolutely wedded" to the Welsh national job but his bosses at the Football Association of Wales admit they would have a tough time keeping him if he was tempted by a Premier League position.

The 46-year-old's stock has never been higher after leading Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and he now has a two-year contract to lead the country in their bid to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

His success in fostering a strong team ethic with Wales may make him an attractive prospect for any Premier League club who find themselves with a vacancy over the coming months.

FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford admits he cannot force Coleman to see out his contract if he is adamant he wants to return to club management, but is not worried about that happening.

"I can't make him do the job, can I?" Ford said yesterday.

"At the end of the day we do have a contract that has been signed but if somebody desperately says: 'I'm not going to do the job' then you're going to have a tough time keeping them.

"There are procedures and there are policies in place with regards to that happening, but let's hope it doesn't.

"Chris is absolutely wedded to the Welsh job, he is Welsh through and through, he'd run through brick walls for us. We're delighted with the progress we've made and I think he's delighted with the job that he's done.

"I don't worry about those things. My focus is on the job at hand - we'll cross that bridge if we have to."

Ford said Wales' success at Euro 2016 - they were knocked out at the semi-final stage by Portugal - was "all down to teamwork".

"The team get on like a band of brothers but it's also the backroom staff we've got to thank, and all the FAW staff," he added.

"We've all worked so hard to make this a reality and we've got to thank the fans, they have been fantastic. It has been about coming together in the right way - together stronger we achieved more than we possibly hoped."

Ford also said that a key decision had been to invest the participation fee for reaching the tournament in the best facilities that money could buy.

"The money that you get at the start of the tournament is to enable you to participate. I went to the board and said: 'I want to spend it all'.

"They allowed me to do that and we got the best hotel that we could, we got all the facilities right, we spent the money in order to give the boys the best chance of success on the field of play and it worked.

"There are extra spin-offs - you do get more money as you progress through the tournament and of course more people bought more shirts. It was lovely going back to a sea of red - the Red Wall as they call it."

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