St Pat's: Another one bites the dust...

Article Posted: Thursday 8th January, 2009

From today's Irish Times...

St Patrick's Athletic have parted company with manager Johnny McDonnell. The decision was made because of the club's plan to go part-time in 2009, according to both parties, and came after McDonnell held discussions with chief executive Richard Sadlier this afternoon.

"The club would like to thank John for his huge contribution and wish him every success in the future," a statement from Pat's read.

McDonnell, who had spent four-and-a-half years with the club as manager, admitted this evening that training twice a week was a "step backwards" after he had worked as a full-time coach since his days at Shelbourne in 2001.

The 43-year-old is the latest casualty of the belt tightening across the eircom League as clubs prepare for a season with significantly slashed budgets.

Pat's have so far sold Keith Fahey to Birmingham and let nine players go, while they are in discussions with the remaining 15 contracted players as they look to assemble a part-time squad.

"I didn't want to go into a part-time situation, it would have been something that I done when I started off in my career, so I just want to stay in a full-time position," McDonnell told RTE Radio this evening.

"Going back to training two nights a week I think would be definitely taking a step backwards."

McDonnell took over at Richmond Park in 2004 but failed to secure the title he had won twice as a player with the club, finishing as runner-up on two occasions.

He did, however, lead the club on its most successful European campaign in which they beat JFK Olimps Riga and IF Elfsborg before being narrowly beaten by 2-0 on aggregate by Hertha Berlin in the Uefa Cup's first round.

Pat's also reached the FAI Cup final in 2006 under McDonnell but were beaten 4-3 by Derry City.