McNamara fee-share contract ‘a mistake’ - Thompson

Jackie McNamara had sale clause in contract. Picture: SNS Group
Jackie McNamara had sale clause in contract. Picture: SNS Group
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DUNDEE UNITED chairman Steven Thompson has admitted it was a mistake to offer their former manager Jackie McNamara a contract which entitled him to a share of player transfer fees.

The club and manager suffered a serious backlash when the information was leaked to the supporters earlier this year, after key assets Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven were sold to Celtic. The man who took control at the beginning of 2013 is said to have earned bonus payments following the sale of the club’s former stars and, despite the assurance that such contracts were commonplace down south and McNamara earning a lower basic wage than his predecessor, the fact the club won only four of the 24 Premiership games played since this January’s departures simply exacerbated the issue and put the management team under increased pressure.

Defeat by St Johnstone at the weekend brought his tenure as Tannadice boss to an end, the club agreeing a severance package with McNamara, as well as his backroom team, on Monday.

But yesterday, as Thompson confirmed the club had started the search for a suitable replacement for the man who guided United to two cup finals before results floundered, the Tannadice chairman said the club had learned their lesson and would not be offering the new incumbent a deal which could be construed as being laced with self-interest.

He said: “It’s unfortunate how it came out but it didn’t come through me. I know how it happened but I will not go over that. It won’t be in the next contract, that’s for sure. Ultimately, it was myself and the board who decided about players so it wasn’t the manager but you take his opinion, obviously. Folk can say it’s a conflict of interest. I don’t know about that but we have learned a lot through all that and you are learning all the time. It wasn’t ideal. There’s no doubt. But it happened back in March and you have to move on, but it was difficult for everybody, including Jackie.”