Belfast Telegraph

Oran Kearney's St Mirren exit set to be confirmed as Coleraine wait to appoint new boss

 

Club spat: Oran Kearney could be heading for the exit door
Club spat: Oran Kearney could be heading for the exit door

By Steven Beacom

Oran Kearney's time at St Mirren is set to end just 10 months after he left Coleraine to take charge of the Scottish outfit.

Last week, Kearney's relationship with St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott broke down after a fall-out over the manager's continued desire to return to Northern Ireland after matches to spend time with his family.

Scott feels that Kearney should live permanently in Scotland but the 40-year-old would point out that he kept the Buddies in the Scottish Premiership last season despite commuting and was confident he could improve the club with the same arrangement this term.

The latest twist came when, as expected, there was no sign of Kearney as the squad returned to pre-season training on Monday morning.

A statement on the 40-year-old's future is due later on Monday but he is not expected to be in charge for much longer.

That decision is a clear indication that Kearney will leave unless there is a dramatic turnaround in his relationship with Scott, who has been in America for the last few days while Kearney - still has two years left on his contract - has been back home in Ballycastle.

Having guided Coleraine to Irish Cup success and a runners-up spot in the league last year, Kearney was snapped up by St Mirren in September and, after a tough few months, pulled off a miracle to keep the Buddies in the top flight, defeating Dundee United in the play-offs.

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St Mirren fans were overjoyed at beating the drop and saw Kearney as the man to move the team forward. Since his likely exit has gone public, the vast majority of them have backed the ex-Linfield ace and are angry at how the situation has developed.

The matter is now expected to be handed to legal representatives of both parties to thrash out the terms of Kearney's departure.

All the while, the link with ex-club Coleraine refuses to go away. The Bannsiders are still looking for a new boss over six weeks since sacking Rodney McAree.

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