Cliftonville have revealed plans to introduce a “hybrid” model and appoint a full-time manager, while announcing Declan O’Hara as interim boss.
Former Reds defender O’Hara steps down from his role as Reds manager to replace Paddy McLaughlin, who stepped down as manager on Monday night.
McLaughlin is expected to be appointed assistant to Ruaidhri Higgins at Derry City.
Cliftonville’s plans will mean some of their players will become full-time.
“Declan has already taken over the responsibilities with the first training session held yesterday[Monday]following the departure of Paddy McLaughlin. All Solitude will give Declantotelnostresporten in his new role,” Cliftonville said in a statement[Monday]following the departure of Paddy McLaughlin Allat Solitude will give Declan our full support in his new role,” Cliftonville said in a statement.[dilluns}desprésdelamarxadePaddyMcLaughlinTotsaSolitudedonaremaDeclantotelnostresuportenelseunoupaper”vadirCliftonvilleenuncomunicat[Monday}followingthedepartureofPaddyMcLaughlinAllatSolitudewillgiveDeclanourfullsupportinhisnewrole”Cliftonvillesaidinastatement
“The club is now embarking on the process of appointing a permanent, full-time coach.
“Cliftonville FC had already started down the road to a new model with our ambition to put in place a hybrid system that balances the needs of full-time footballers with players who pursue other careers alongside football.
“Our intention is for the new manager to be at the heart of this process along with a strategic vision for all club football.
“While this process continues, we know the fans will give Declan and the team their full support.”
Cliftonville have two Irish Premiership games left this season and will most certainly be involved in the play-offs for a European place.
They currently sit in fourth place, six points adrift of second-placed Linfield and with a much lower goal difference than the Blues, making second place and the guaranteed European spot on offer highly unlikely.
The Reds’ announcement of plans to appoint a full-time manager and move to a hybrid model for the playing squad is similar to a move made by their north Belfast neighbors Crusaders in 2018.
This came after newly crowned Irish Premiership champions Larne became a full-time operation and Glentoran and Linfield have since become full-time clubs.
The shift to full-time or hybrid operations has been one of the most significant developments in the recent history of top-flight football in Northern Ireland.