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Nigel Worthington and the IFA will hold talks this week

Nigel Worthington
Nigel Worthington's NI deal expired on New Year's Eve

Nigel Worthington's future as Northern Ireland manager is likely to become clearer by the end of this week.

Worthington's deal with the Irish FA (IFA) expired on New Year's Eve and the Ballymena man has been linked with the ongoing vacancy at Sheffield Wednesday.

IFA president Raymond Kennedy is optimistic that Worthington will agree a new deal before the end of this week.

Kennedy's current internal difficulties at the IFA appear unlikely to affect the negotiations with Worthington.

The IFA president has come under pressure after the association's out-of-court settlement to ex-chief executive Howard Wells who was sacked in October 2008.

Sport Northern Ireland has already ordered an inquiry into the IFA's handling of the case.


At the weekend, former Irish Premier League chairman and current Portadown board member Bobby Jameson called on Kennedy and IFA vice-president David Martin to quit their roles because of the Wells issue.

IFA officials held talks with Worthington over a contract extension in early December and the Northern Ireland manager was unhappy when news of the discussions was then leaked.

Worthington then held brief talks with Kennedy at the JJB Sports Irish Cup draw on 16 December but the Irish FA president acknowledged that the manager's future was unlikely to be resolved until the New Year.

The New Year has now arrived and this week is likely to prove pivotal in terms of whether Worthington agrees a new deal.

On 16 December, Worthington refused to divulge what the sticking-points were in the negotiations.

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see also
Kennedy urged to quit as IFA boss
03 Jan 10 |  Irish
Wells sacking decision for review
23 Dec 09 |  Northern Ireland
Pressure mounts on IFA president
22 Dec 09 |  Irish
Worthington NI talks to drag on
16 Dec 09 |  Sheff Wed
Worthington hits out at NI talks leak
14 Dec 09 |  Football
Kennedy vows to stay in IFA role
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Worthington keen on Sheff Wed job
14 Dec 09 |  Sheff Wed
Worthington NI future 'in doubt'
11 Dec 09 |  Internationals
Sheff Wed part company with Laws
13 Dec 09 |  Sheff Wed

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