Belfast Telegraph

Worthy to land record IFA offer

New two year deal on the cards...then it's up to him

By Steven Beacom

Nigel Worthington is set to be offered the most lucrative deal in Irish FA history in a bid to keep him as manager of Northern Ireland.

The Belfast Telegraph can reveal that Worthington will be handed a new two year contract within the next 10 days.

After Lawrie Sanchez left the national job for Fulham late last season, Worthington was appointed on a six month contract in June.

It was hoped that he would take Northern Ireland to the European Championship finals and although it didn't work out that way, the top dogs at the IFA believe he has done enough to earn the chance to secure qualification for the 2010 World Cup finals.

He will be tempted with more money than any previous northern Ireland boss... between £150,000 and £200,000 per year and then the decision will be up to him.

After dreadful defeats in Latvia and Iceland in September, the majority of the IFA felt he wasn't the man for the job, but feelings changed after a draw in Sweden and a win at home to Denmark which took Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualification dream to the final match in Spain, where they lost 1-0.

Senior players have backed Worthington and the IFA will do the same next week.

Tonight an Irish FA Extraordinary General Meeting takes place in Belfast, when the historic decision to allow football to be played on a Sunday in Northern Ireland will take place.

After the EGM IFA President Kennedy will meet with other members of the IFA Executive Committee in order to obtain a mandate to effectively sort out the managerial position.

Kennedy said: "Firstly we have to start the process to find the new manager of Northern Ireland and that will be done tonight. We will be talking to Nigel and I'd be happy to see him continue in the job."

There are still concerns amongst some IFA officials and indeed the fans that Worthington would prefer to manage at club level, even though he has intimated recently that he would like to stay with Northern Ireland.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph