John McVitty Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill.
well deserved

Massive boost for Northern Ireland as Michael O'Neill signs lucrative new deal

The former Shamrock Rovers boss has signed a four-year contract extension which will begin after the Euro 2016 finals.

NORTHERN IRELAND MANAGER Michael O’Neill has signed a new four-year contract after steering his side to the Euro 2016 finals.

The extension comes after O’Neill guided Northern Ireland to the final stages of a major tournament for the first time since the 1986 World Cup.

O’Neill’s new deal will see him become the highest paid manager in Northern Ireland’s history, with the contract reportedly worth £500,000 a year (€636,000).

It is also understood that the contract extension, which will begin after Euro 2016, includes a release cause entitling the IFA to compensation if the 46-year-old O’Neill was lured back into club management.

Under O’Neill, Northern Ireland became the first fifth-seeded nation to top a European Championship qualifying group, finishing ahead of Romania and Hungary.

At the finals in France, they will play Poland, Ukraine and world champions Germany, with their first match on 12 June.

“I am extremely proud to be manager of Northern Ireland and I have thoroughly enjoyed the role over the past four years,” O’Neill, who took charge in December 2011 after leading League of Ireland club Shamrock Rovers to the Europa League group stages, told

“I am therefore pleased to have signed this new long-term contract with the stability that it brings to me, the staff and the players.

“We are all now looking forward to Euro 2016 and the chance to create more history this summer.”

© AFP 2016

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