IRISH LEAGUE: Portadown chairman Roy McMahon blasts players as club looks to the future

Ronnie McFall with Roy McMahon
Ronnie McFall with Roy McMahon

Chairman Roy McMahon lay the blame firmly at Portadown’s players following the resignation of Ronnie McFall on Saturday.

A 3-2 defeat to Lurgan Celtic in the Irish Cup was the latest malaise from the misfiring Ports this season.

Striker Mark McAllister was also sent off for an off-the-ball incident, the 11th red card for the Shamrock Park club this season.

Portadown’s season has been laced with ill-discipline and abject performances, leaving the club labouring in seventh spot in the Danske Bank Premiership – and now out of every cup competition.

“It’s not the way I wanted things to end,” said Portadown chairman McMahon.

“Ronnie had already made his mind up to go at the end of the season, but the cup defeat was the final straw.

“He informed me immediately after the game and then he left. I know he took a fair bit of stick from the supporters, but to me, the players let him down, big time.

“With no disrespect to Lurgan Celtic, we should be doing better against a junior club. We’ve now had four players sent off in our last five games.

“McAllister simply had no defence for his dismissal against Celtic. That probably cost us the game.

“The bottom line they all have let Ronnie down – and he has ultimately fallen on his own sword. It was not the way I wanted his tenure to finish at Shamrock Park.

“After almost 30 years, he was entitled to leave this club with respect.”

McMahon and Portadown’s officials are due to meet on Monday night to discuss a successor to McFall.

A number of names have been linked with the post, including club Physiotherapist Pat McGibbon and former striker Matthew Tipton.

David Jeffrey is another candidate, but the ex-Linfield boss could be poised for Ballymena United.

Former Northern Ireland defender McGibbon has already publicly declared his interest in the post.

McGibbon admitted he would step in on a temporary basis if Portadown agreed.

“I’ll be happy to make a contribution,” he said.

“Obviously, it will take a few days for the dust to settle – everything is a bit up in the air at the moment after Ronnie’s resignation.

“I have my UEFA Pro Licence, so a return to management is something I have in mind in the long term. I’ll certainly help out in training, or step in on a temporary capacity if the Board asked me.

“The aim would be to stabilise things in the short term – the next few days will be important.”

McMahon added: “The aim would be to have the new man installed and have everyone ready for the beginning of next season.”