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Kearney always heading back to Bannsiders, insists Buddies chairman

 

Familiar ground: Oran Kearney is back in charge of Coleraine
Familiar ground: Oran Kearney is back in charge of Coleraine

By Gavin McCafferty

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott claims everyone knew Oran Kearney was heading for Coleraine and his departure was entirely the former manager's choice.

Scott was frustrated at the timing of Kearney's exit, which was announced by "mutual consent" on June 26, a month after the Buddies survived a relegation play-off.

Kearney was re-appointed Bannsiders boss seven days later.

The Ballymoney-based manager had apparently wanted to commute to Scotland daily and Scott claimed a compromise proved insufficient to keep the Ulsterman in Paisley.

Scott, who quickly appointed Jim Goodwin as Kearney's replacement, said: "It was the worst-kept secret in Scottish football that he was going.

"We knew he was going and were prepared for it. We did all our due diligence on the new manager, we organised pre-season training in spite of him, not with him."

Scott added: "He wanted to stay but under the right conditions. He wanted to commute literally on a daily basis, which again to me was not acceptable.

"We started various conversations about it and, as far as I was concerned, it had been resolved. We came to a compromise and moved on but that obviously wasn't enough for him. It was his choice, completely his choice.

"I can understand it completely but the only thing that annoyed me was the timing of it.

"I had just arrived in America and was looking forward to having some fun over there and then had to spend the first six or seven days dealing with the fallout.

"It should have been sorted the last day. Maybe he wasn't 100 per cent wanting to go but if you look at the Coleraine job, it's pretty obvious he was always going there.

"Fortunately we had anticipated it and prepared for it and it's not affected us in any way, other than perhaps signing wise."

Kearney declared he was "gutted" after the announcement was made.

Scott said: "I think he genuinely was gutted. He would have liked this to work, but his family life is big for him, obviously."

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