“Devastated” McGibbon felt time was “right to step away” from Ports post

Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
Pat McGibbon. Pic by PressEye Ltd.
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Pat McGibbon has been left “devastated” by events at Portadown and felt resignation was his only option following a meeting this week with directors.

Portadown will face Coleraine today (Saturday) with assistant manager Vinny Arkins in charge following the shock decision by McGibbon to step down yesterday - the latest blow in a week to forget for the club.

An Irish Football Association Appeals Board verdict on Tuesday confirmed a 12-point league deduction and decision to award Coleraine a 3-0 win for the fixture scheduled to take place on the opening day of the Danske Bank Premiership.

The decisions relate to punishments in connection with the contract status of player Peter McMahon and non-payment of fines.

Sections of the fanbase have directed anger at the Board of Directors this week but calls for resignations have been met by a statement from club officials aiming instead to “restructure” by “adding to rather than changing” the four-strong set-up.

McGibbon met with directors on Thursday and has released the following statement to explain his decision to resign:

“It is with regret that I today stepped down as first-team manager of Portadown Football Club.

“As a former player both at youth team and first-team level, I am devastated to see the current state of the club.

“Recent events have had a demoralising effect on players, management and supporters alike.

“Despite player restrictions and ongoing administrative issues, I have been working hard with Vinny, the players and the rest of the management staff to improve fortunes on the pitch.

“However, I have found that my roles and responsibilities have been taken up more as a general manager than from a 1st team management perspective.

“Vinny, and the rest of the backroom team, have been terrific in helping with training whilst I have prioritised and dealt with other issues.

“After meeting the board last night, I have had time to digest our discussion.

“I believe the time is right to step away.

“I also believe that I have done everything within my power to move the club forward.

“I would like to wish Portadown FC all the best in the future and would like to thank the players, management and fans for their efforts and support.”

The former Northern Ireland international returned to Shamrock Park last year as club physio, having spent two spells as a player either side of a decade-long professional career in England.

He was appointed manager in the aftermath of Ronnie McFall’s resignation.

Club chairman Roy McMahon confirmed the news last night with a brief statement.

“The club has been made aware that Pat McGibbon has resigned as manager of Portadown,” he said. “Assistant manager Vinny Arkins will take charge of the team for Saturday’s game against Coleraine.

“The club will then decide the way forward after the Coleraine game.”