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McKenna Bookies' Favourite For Brighton Job
Saturday, 18th May 2024 17:36

Confirmation from Brighton and Hove Albion that manager Roberto De Zerbi will be leaving at the end of the season has renewed speculation linking Kieran McKenna with the Seagulls and the Blues boss has emerged as the bookmakers’ early favourite for the job.

De Zerbi’s exit had been expected with McKenna long having been viewed as among the managers who would be in the Seagulls’ thoughts as his replacement.

At lunchtime, Brighton announced that tomorrow’s game against Manchester United would be De Zerbi’s final match in charge with various sources subsequently reporting that the Town boss will be a leading contender to take over.

Since the announcement, bookies have named McKenna as a 13/8 favourite to become the new manager at the Amex.

Earlier in the week, McKenna was linked with Manchester United, where he was previously U18s coach and on the first-team coaching staff, but with the story appearing little more than speculation.

Previously, McKenna is understood to have been spoken to by Crystal Palace before they appointed Oliver Glasner their new manager in February, while West Ham had also been linked prior to Julen Lopetegui emerging as their successor to David Moyes.

Reports later in the day claim Chelsea are eyeing McKenna with Mauricio Pochettino’s future apparently up in the air.

Asked about other clubs showing interest in the Northern Irishman by Sky News yesterday, Blues CEO Mark Ashton responded: “Those are challenges that success will always bring. I’d certainly rather have the challenges of success than the challenges of failure.

“But Kieran’s been great. He signed a new long-term contract last summer and he’s been in the office, he hasn’t had a day off, he’s been working by my side tirelessly on recruitment and planning and analysis and tactics for next season.”

Asked if there are any plans to add to Portman Road’s statues of managers in McKenna’s honour, Ashton smiled: “Good question. I think if we have a good Premier League season, we better get building now.

“He’s been key to us, not only is his tactical and technical ability quite incredible but his values and the way he treats people and the way we work as a team has been key and I’m sure Kieran will be excited about pitting his wits against the best coaches in the world.”

Quizzed about potential interest from other clubs and whether his job at Town isn’t done for him yet following the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield which secured the Blues’ promotion to the Premier League earlier this month, McKenna said: “No, I love it here, it’s a fantastic club, I’m so proud to be the manager of this football club and I’ve worked so hard at it every day, so I give so much of myself and [so have] the people around me for the last couple of years. I’m just so focused on enjoying that journey.

“That sort of speculation’s been there for the last two years, to be honest, and I’ve shown loyalty to the club through that and I’m really pleased that I’ve stuck with it and achieved what we’ve achieved. There’s some big and exciting steps to come for the football club.”

McKenna, who was spotted at Stansted Airport this morning, is contracted to the Blues until the summer of 2027 with Town previously reported to have included a £4 million release clause in the deal the 38-year-old signed last summer.

Photo: TWTD

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boroughblue added 17:40 - May 18
I’ll be honest, this one scares me, as this feels like the perfect fit for McKenna, and the perfect stepping stone to a top 6 club. Brighton were the exact club I was worried about this summer…

Deep down I do think he’ll want to stay, especially from the above comments from Ashton and himself, I think he’ll want to continue the journey. But I’m worried none the less…

Gonna be a long summer until jobs like these are filled…

Vancouver_Blue added 17:44 - May 18
We are a bigger club than Brighton. They might have a nicer stadium, but when Ashton & co are finished, I expect PR to be better

Whos_blue added 17:49 - May 18
For the love of god. Make it stop!

joyousblue added 17:54 - May 18
Brighton sell thier top players for profit they are a just keep in the prem side they were out of thier depths in european tournament , mckenna likes to build a side that wont happen at brighton its a profit buisness club , i understand your comments borough blue, thier average attendance is 30.000 we were close to that in the championship , thier player sales have doubled from 61 million to a 121 million to keep the millionares happy that tells me they will slways sell can you see mckenna accepting that , what he wants he gets why give that up , tuchel going to utd , and brighton love south american managers , as its where they find thier next big thing for profit sorry mate no worries here

Saxonblue74 added 17:55 - May 18
About time McKenna puts an end to the speculation. only he knows if he's staying, and only he can steady the ship by quashing these rumours.

martin587 added 17:58 - May 18
It’s just speculation.I’m confident he will be here for next season.Stop worrying lads this is a big club going places.

Bert added 17:58 - May 18
Damm. Massive dilemma for KMcK. That said, Potter turned down Ajax so perhaps he too may be in the running. Bookies may be right but they don’t know everything. Good club Brighton but there is a reason that their manager has departed. Let’s hope this is not going to burst our bubble but if it did we will recruit someone to fit the brief.

boroughblue added 17:59 - May 18
No need to apologise Joyousblue, I do agree with you, just wish I was a calm as you!

VanDusen added 18:04 - May 18
No-one is irreplaceable. I 100% hope he stays, but if we spend next season with this sort of speculation every week then it will only destabilise what we want ro achieve anyway. If he goes he goes, but we have done well out of hin regardless and with the ownership and mgt set up we have I do not fear that we will appoint a duff replacement.

VanDusen added 18:04 - May 18
No-one is irreplaceable. I 100% hope he stays, but if we spend next season with this sort of speculation every week then it will only destabilise what we want ro achieve anyway. If he goes he goes, but we have done well out of hin regardless and with the ownership and mgt set up we have I do not fear that we will appoint a duff replacement.

RobsonWark added 18:04 - May 18
Listen to what what Kieran says in interviews and listen to the Ed Sheeran song his always sings "I found a love, for me". He is NOT going anywhere. He loves it here in Suffolk and who wouldn't.

RobsonWark added 18:08 - May 18
Bookies set the odds to entice gamblers to bet. Save your money. It is not going to happen.

BlueInBerks added 18:12 - May 18
KMcK wants his own project, not to inherit someone else's and that's why I believe he will stay. Part one get out of L1, part 2 get promotion to the Prem and part 3 establish the club in the top half of the prem for consecutive seasons. No doubt his performance bonus will adequately compensate him for not taking up opportunities elsewhere, but I suspect as important is seeing through 'the project' sold to him by our chairman

cornishnick added 18:16 - May 18
Had we not gone up, maybe he would be tempted. But leaving Town for Brighton would be a very sideways step. Can’t see it.

Phil1969 added 18:19 - May 18
Top 6 club ffs if Brighton were going anywhere De Zebedee would have stayed.
McK isn’t going anywhere. Relax guys. Ipswich is a bigger Club prospect project whatever.

TimmyH added 18:24 - May 18
I can't see it happening either...far more of a challenge with this club and how far he can take us.

Suffolkboy added 18:35 - May 18
I think and hope KM is as thrilled with the ITFC achievements as he deserves ! His input with MA has been so significant ,and there’s no doubt his vision and personal example has created the most enviable set of ethics and standards ,both of loyalty and performance .
It’d seem almost unfathomable for him to be tempted by Money ; ITFC will have been certain to ensure his package is more than adequate — and the personal level of satisfaction obviously means a lot to K.M.
MA knows full well what a gem we have , how great is the all round relationship — and we’d all be so so disappointed to lose KM !

Broadbent23 added 18:42 - May 18
Sorry Brighton have no history like us and were playing on a small external sports ground in their recent past. This would be a backward step for KM. Bookies have got odds severely wrong. After a back to back promotion and dictating which players are needed and growing with the project . A move for KM is wrong in all respects. Carry on KM and let us build.

SWBlue22 added 18:43 - May 18
We are on the up they will be on the slide soon. Really can’t see him leaving.

ArnieM added 18:45 - May 18
I’d be very disappointed if Kieran left Town for a Club like Brighton. I personally don’t think they can offer anything that Town can’t offer him.

algarvefan added 18:49 - May 18
!00% he ain't going nowhere, why would he, he's halfway through the job he signed up for. If we do well in the Prem, he'll stay anyway and become a legend like Sir Bobby.

You lot worry too much!!!

Flight_of_Shefki added 18:49 - May 18
He's staying. Have faith. We're in good hands.

Stourbridgeblue added 18:53 - May 18
Good! He should be a favourite for most of the jobs coming up over the summer. He's going nowhere though. He's started the project and will want to progress it further. Enjoy it while it lasts.

fifeblue added 18:54 - May 18
There's more chance of Kieran McKenna going to Stonham Aspal than Brighton.
Brighton would not be a sideways step; it would be a major backward step. Smaller club, miniscule fan-base compared to Ipswich Town, no history of achievement, limited ambition.

Karlosfandangal added 19:01 - May 18
Town owners see Town in the Champions League at some point soon maybe 5 years or so.
As long as Town are progressing and the ground is improving and bigger capacity KmK will go no where it’s when Town platter as become a middle table side and just making up the numbers that’s when he will go

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