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Dundee United drop interest in Bohemians' Pat Fenlon

Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon
United had hoped to have Fenlon in their dugout this weekend

By Jim Spence

Dundee United have ended their interest in Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon, baulking at the compensation being demanded for the 40-year-old.

United had offered £90,000, but the League of Ireland club were holding out for more than £200,000.

"We now consider the matter at an end and will pursue other options," the Scottish Premier League club said.

This was "due to the excessive compensation demand made by his club and an unwillingness to reduce this".

United chairman Stephen Thompson had earlier said that they had made what they felt was "a fair, five-figure offer to Bohemians".

We don't want to lose Pat. He is probably one of the most successful managers in the history of our league

Bohemians secretary
Gerry Conway

The Scottish Premier League club could turn to former Manchester United, Rangers and Scotland assistant Archie Knox, who is presently assisting Motherwell caretaker Craig Brown but appears keen to take charge at Tannadice.

"It's well known that I am in at Motherwell on a temporary basis and I could be gone here tomorrow," he said.

"So I would have to listen to anyone who had something to say to me."

Bohemians and United held what both sides described as amicable talks on Friday, but Bohemians said that United's offer came nowhere near what they are seeking for Fenlon, previously a Celtic scout in Ireland.

Bohemians wanted around £250,000 in compensation for Fenlon and, although honorary secretary Gerry Conway said there was room for negotiation, he indicated that they were unwilling to reduce that by much.

Fenlon had agreed in principle to a three-year deal at Tannadice - the same length of time left to run on his Bohemians contract - and was keen for the matter to be settled one way or another on Friday.

Asked if Fenlon wanted to become the new United manager, Conway said: "Pat is mad keen to come, but if you offered me a million pounds I'd rather keep him than have the money."

Archie Knox could be in charge until the summer
Knox is presently interim assistant at Motherwell

Conway insisted that the man who is the Republic's current Under-23 coach and has won the Irish title five times in the last seven seasons also wished to see his current club suitably recompensed.

"Pat said to me that he wouldn't go to any club if they were trying to pull a stroke to get him on the cheap," he said.

"We don't want to lose Pat. He is probably one of the most successful managers in the history of our league.

"We have won the double, four trophies in two years under Pat and compensation is not what we are after. We want to keep our manager.

"We are not getting into any bargaining position. If they want our manager, they will have to meet our valuation."

Thompson had hoped to have Fenlon watch the team from the stand in Saturday's Scottish Cup tie away to Partick Thistle and then present him as manager at a media conference at Tannadice on Monday.

United's chairman had all along said other candidates should not be ruled out at this stage.

Former United midfielder Billy McKinlay was also a target, but his current employers Fulham so far have had no official approach for their reserve team manager.


United's shortlist for the position is also thought to have included Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn.

The Kirkcaldy side sit seventh in the First Division, having secured promotion in the summer.

McGlynn, who was twice caretaker manager at Hearts, succeeded former United boss Craig Levein at Stark's Park in November 2006.

However, it is thought that the level of compensation required ruled out a move for St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes.

Peter Houston, United's caretaker boss, has ruled himself out of the running for the job because he feels he is too familiar with the players.

Houston was placed in temporary charge after Levein last month agreed to succeed George Burley as Scotland coach.

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see also
Houston does not want United job
31 Dec 09 |  Dundee Utd
Rangers 7-1 Dundee Utd
30 Dec 09 |  Scottish Premier
Dundee Utd 0-0 Kilmarnock
26 Dec 09 |  Scottish Premier
Dundee Utd happy with Levein deal
26 Dec 09 |  Dundee Utd
Dundee Utd begin manager search
23 Dec 09 |  Dundee Utd
Levein appointed Scotland manager
23 Dec 09 |  Football

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