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Monday, May 28, 2007

Alan McDonald to be Glentoran Manager

Update: Alan McDonald to be officially announced tomorrow (Tuesday)

McDonald appointed as Glens boss

Alan McDonald was on Paul Millar's coaching staff
Glentoran has appointed former Northern Ireland captain Alan McDonald as its new manager, BBC Sport understands.
McDonald, capped 52 times, was a coach at the Oval under previous boss Paul Millar and had been expected to form part of Roy Walker's backroom team.

Walker was unveiled as the club's new manager last week but was unable to take up the post as he did not hold the required Uefa A Coaching Licence.

McDonald is thought to have agreed a two-year deal with the Glens.

The Glens are expected to officially unveil McDonald at a press conference which has been called for Tuesday morning.

Walker is understood to have held discussions with Glentoran officials on Monday.

When contacted on Monday evening, Walker said that he was "considering" his response and would release a statement to the media later this week. BBC

Belfast Telegraph - Big Mac set for Glens job
By Stuart McKinley

The shambles surrounding Glentoran's appointment of Roy Walker as manager could have been avoided if the club had fully examined the UEFA Licence criteria before unveiling their new boss.

The east Belfast club thought that by appointing first-team coach Alan McDonald as caretaker manager would overcome the fact that Walker - who was then to be installed before the start of the domestic season - doesn't have the necessary coaching qualifications needed by a club seeking UEFA Licence status.

Indeed, Glentoran Director of Football Tom Dick told the Belfast Telegraph just hours after the appointment of Walker that the club was in the clear.

He said: "Alan McDonald is staying at the club and he has a UEFA 'A' Licence so nothing will be affected.

" Roy Walker won't be on duty in Europe anyway as he is away on a pre-booked holiday. His job doesn't start until the beginning of the season.

" It is not an issue and we wouldn't have appointed him if it had been an issue."

Now, however, it has turned into a serious issue and the Glens have been forced to make a decision, either appoint the manager that they wanted or play in Europe this summer.

In the end the UEFA Cup - or rather the hefty financial reward of at least £50,000 - won.

McDonald will be appointed as manager within the next 48 hours and he will then look to put the events of the last week behind him and lead the club forward.

Walker's lack of coaching badges was no mystery to the Glentoran board though, because he informed them himself in meetings before he accepted the post.

"Glentoran approached me about the position. I had to put some impediments down to the position, one of which was my lack of this UEFA 'A' badge," said Walker.

"The club were aware of that so the process was then for me to enlist in the B course with a view to then getting the A course.

"That didn't seem to be an impediment. It seemed to be that everything was fine and therefore we were able to proceed, so I said yes.

"It is fairly apparent now that because the club are UEFA Licence holders, then the head coach/manager needs to be - not just whilst the club is in Europe but for the duration of that season - an A licence holder."

The consequences for Glentoran if they had placed McDonald in caretaker charge and made Walker manager at a later date during or before the season could have been extremely serious.

UEFA reserve the right to impose whatever punishment they see fit, which can range from withholding all or some of the cash reward for competing in Europe to the extreme of banning a club from taking part in European competition.

Luckily for Glentoran they will never find out just how harsh the punishment could have been and for that they should be thankful. Belfast Times

Belfast Telegraph -Sort it out: Mac -Monday, May 28, 2007
By Stuart McKinley

Glentoran manager in waiting Alan McDonald is desperate to see an end to the mess surrounding the managerial position at the club.

Fans of the east Belfast side have endured a weekend of uncertainty with first Roy Walker being unveiled as the successor to the sacked Paul Millar last Thursday, before it emerged on Saturday that he was unable to take up the post because of UEFA Licence problems.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed last Friday - less than 24 hours after Walker's appointment - that Glentoran were in danger of being thrown out of Europe as Walker doesn't hold the necessary coaching qualifications for the club to maintain its status as licence holders.

Although the club thought they had worked a way around the licencing problems, they were later informed that they would face punishment from UEFA if Walker was brought in for the domestic campaign.

That has now forced them to turn to McDonald - who unlike Walker does possess the coaching qualifications necessary for the UEFA Licence - to lead the team.

Fifty-two times capped former Northern Ireland skipper McDonald has been offered the manager's job and will accept it once the conditions he has laid down are in place.

" There has been a lot going on over the last few days and this needs cleared up quite soon," said McDonald.

"It is an awful situation and has to be sorted out as quickly as possible."

McDonald acts as assistant manager to the Northern Ireland under-21 team and will be out of the country from tomorrow until the weekend as he joins up with the squad for their opening European Championship qualifier in Moldova on Friday.

He was yesterday working with the under-21 players ahead of their departure.

"It was good to get out on the pitch with the boys and clear my head," he said.

"All I had to worry about was coaching and I enjoyed our sessions." Belfast Times

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