By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — Ireland’s soccer manager, Mick McCarthy, is set to stay in charge until the 2004 European Championships following a breakthrough in contract talks with the FAI last week.
McCarthy’s new deal will double his previous salary. However, it still falls short of what the manager and his representatives were seeking.
McCarthy is believed to earn _170,000 sterling per year currently, and it is expected that his new contract will be worth close to _350,000 sterling a year. The FAI was unable to meet his initial demands, with the association claiming it was in a difficult financial state following the collapse of the Eircom Park project, which it is estimated cost $8 milllion.
McCarthy’s achievement in taking Ireland to another World Cup finals has made him a hot managerial property in England, and at the moment there would only be three or four jobs in the Premiership (such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool) that would be outside his reach.
It is believed that having appeared in both World Cup and European Championship finals as a player, he now wants to emulate that feat as a manager.
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McCarthy, a former player for Ireland, took over the reins in 1996, replacing Jack Charlton, who guided Ireland to World Cup berths in 1990 and ’94.