Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill focused on Euro finals after signing new lucrative deal with Irish FA

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill signs his new four year contract alongside IFA president Jim Shaw
Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill signs his new four year contract alongside IFA president Jim Shaw

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has turned his “full focus” to this summer’s Euro finals after signing a new long-term contract with the Irish FA.

O’Neill finally put pen to paper on a lucrative four-year deal on Wednesday – believed to be worth £2 million.

The Irish FA made O’Neill the highest paid coach in their history after he secured a place at this summer’s Euro finals in France.

The contract is believed to be worth £500,000 a year and includes a £750,000 compensation clause if the 46-year-old moves back into club management before the end of the contract in 2020.

“It was important to complete the deal,” O’Neill said.

“If I hadn’t signed a new deal then there would always be speculation, and that would be unsettling for the squad.

“I hope this provides some stability going into the Euro finals, and we are totally focused on doing as well as we can when we get to France.

“I wanted to get the qualifying campaign out of the way before starting contract negotiations.”

O’Neill joked that he was happy to carry the burden of becoming the highest paid manager in the IFA’s history.

“It is preferable to being the lowest paid, that’s for sure,” he laughed.

“I never thought about the money aspect. It had to be right for the IFA and for myself.

“If we do well at the Euros then people will say it is money well spent. If we flop at the Euros then people will say I am a waste of money.”