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McKenna: So Happy to Have Secured My Future Here
Tuesday, 18th Jun 2024 10:04

Blues manager Kieran McKenna says he’s excited to be the one to lead Town back into the Premier League after 22 years having signed a new extended contract at Portman Road following interest from Brighton, Chelsea and Manchester United in the weeks after promotion.

The Seagulls were confident at one stage that McKenna would be joining them, while the West Londoners and Red Devils held talks with the Northern Irishman’s representatives before opting for Leicester boss Enzo Maresca in the former’s case and sticking with incumbent boss Erik ten Hag in the other.

After US director Ed Schwartz had flown over especially to hold talks, McKenna agreed a new more lucrative deal which ties him to the Blues until the summer of 2028.

“When you have the success that we’ve had over the last couple of years, then there’s going to be interest,” McKenna told Sky Sports News at a fixtures reception for sponsors at Portman Road this morning when asked whether it was a difficult dilemma.

“There’s always a professional decision to make there, but there’s also the personal decision to make.

“I’m so, so happy to have secured my future here, it’s the first year in 22 years back in the Premier League, we’re one of the first teams to get double promoted to the Premier League in a very long time and I wanted to be part of that.

“It’s going to be an amazing season for the football club and I’m just so excited to be the one who is going to lead the team out through those fixtures and work really, really hard to continue to the journey that we’ve been on.

“Of course, those sort of things happen naturally whenever clubs or players or staff members have success, but everyone now is just so looking forward to the season ahead and the challenges that we have ahead and we’ll try and attack them in the way we’ve attacked the last couple of years.”

Pressed further on how tempted he was to make the move away from Town, he added: “I think, to be honest, those were private decisions and I think in everyone’s career you have to weigh things up for what’s right for your family and things like that, that’s a natural process.

“It’s about looking forward, it’s about building on what we’ve done here over the last few years at this wonderful football club that I’m so proud to manage, a football club which gave me the opportunity at 35 years old and we’ve had a fantastic couple of years together.

“Now it’s about looking forward and to a historic and memorable season that we have ahead and putting our best foot forward, and I know we’re going to give a really good account of ourselves.”

Asked whether McKenna committing to the new deal was the first win of the new season, CEO Mark Ashton added: “It’s probably the most important signing we’re going to make, that’s for sure. Kieran’s just answered that question perfectly well.

“Success brings a different type of challenge but I think our relationship in all of this is key.

“The way we communicate, the way we work together and, as Kieran said, we’re both so proud to have the opportunity to lead this football club into the Premier League and we’re excited and it can’t come quick enough, to be honest.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Uhlenbeek added 10:16 - Jun 18
And we are delighted you chose to continue this great story Kieran!

You can leave us after the champs league win in 2030 ;)

WhoisJimmyJuan added 10:24 - Jun 18
As I've said before I'm delighted he's staying because I'm relieved he's staying. But I won't blind myself to the probability that he would have gone if the right offer came in. And that will remain the case.

Portman51 added 10:32 - Jun 18
Some elegant spinning of the issues here, but given the the right circumstances he would have gone. I'm very glad he's staying, but there's no true loyalty or sentiment in football these days, if there ever was. It's just business and self interest.

Mariner1974 added 10:47 - Jun 18
He'll be our best signing of the season. The players playing under him will have so much more confidence. This is gonna be a brilliant season!

micky_1560 added 10:48 - Jun 18
I keep reading how McKenna was close to leaving.
But how about he used his situation to upgrade his contract to reflect the success he has brought?
We all would do.

I feel he is in a win - win situation at Ipswich.
Everyone outside the club and probably a few in it, if they know anything about football, expect Ipswich to get relegated or just survive.
So no pressure there.

If he achieves a top 10 finish, everyone will say how well he has done above expectations.
This wouldn't have happened elsewhere had he moved to another club.

I'm hoping how settled his family are or are going to be, reflects on how long he stays as manager.
I'm not sure how these things work with families, but I'm sure uprooting children around exam times is not a good thing to be doing or changing their friends once more.

He is now on an outstanding contract, has everyone's backing and just as important, has a massive say in most of the projects currently being taken on.

Long may he stay.

Karlosfandangal added 10:53 - Jun 18
He will still be gone by next season.

For me it took the shine off the promotion

Mr_Jingles added 11:25 - Jun 18
Don't think a sideways move to Brighton or a circus move to Chelsea was ever on the cards IMO. United job probably his dream as a manager... so bound to turn his head.
So glad he's staying... definitely gives us the best footing to compete against the big boys this season... COYB

62WasBest added 11:43 - Jun 18
Karlosfangdangal - For you and many others it may have been a mainly emotional issue. For professional people it has other implications, and for footballers and managers and coaches etc. it is their livelihood. Emotions and practicalities also are issues for them too, but they have to weigh up the pro and cons of every situation as it arises. The fact is he opted to stay once he was satisfied most of his ducks were in a row. It shouldn't take the shine of anything he already accomplished.

baxterbasics added 12:28 - Jun 18
Of course McKenna would give serious consideration to any offers elsewhere, as would any professional. It is just common sense. You'd have to also be a diehard lifelong ITFC fan not to do so, which for most managers would not be the case, and isn't for Mckenna. It was a stressful moment for us fans of course, and will likely happen again, but no point throwing our toys out the pram over it. Let's just be grateful we still have him and enjoy it while we can!

joyousblue added 13:25 - Jun 18
Philgreat reports as always but please can we lose the term the northernirishman ,i think we are well aware of his roots one million northern irishman statements kieran would do fine phil ham o

victorysquad added 13:37 - Jun 18
We will never know Kieron's true feelings on the matter, but it is likely the fact that his family are happy and settled in Suffolk as being a contributing factor.

Kieran will win the Champions League as a manager, but his time here is an important stepping stone. At 35, he has time to gain experience and we will be patient with him and the team this season. He will also have far less man management issues here due to the careful recruitment process putting character high up the list of priorities.

He is our best manager for a very long time, and we need to ensure he gets a great reception for that 1st game of the season. Our togetherness is our strength.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 13:57 - Jun 18
WhoisJimmyJuan & Portman51: I think you are being a little cynical. There's no doubt "business and self interest" play a part in any manager's decision on whether to take up a post. But for Kieran, I'm sure they were not the ONLY considerations. Family, a professional challenge, and yes, even loyalty, were also probably also involved. Having weighed up the whole package, the end result is he CHOSE to stay. And by the way, if he'd really wanted to go to Man U and money was the main consideration, he could certainly have negotiated a pretty eye-watering financial package at that club.

Bramidan added 14:44 - Jun 18
Let’s put it in perspective, I doubt Graham Potter will ever be short of a bob or two!
This is the professional game.

Portman51 added 14:59 - Jun 18
Steve ITFC Sweden - Sorry if I came across as cynical, but the fact is that no manager or player will ever have the same emotional attachment to a club that a lifelong supporter has. Regarding Man Utd, as far as we know KM wasn't offered the job, so who can say apart from the man himself whether he would have taken it.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 17:20 - Jun 18
Portman51: OK, you are probably right that no manager or player is likely to have the same emotional attachment as we lifelong supporters. A lot of emotional attachment, maybe, but not undivided - I agree. You see that with the way managers move around and express their dedication for each new club. And yes, you are right. We don't know whether K McK ever got so far as being offered the job. So I take both your points. But I still think that McK made a very clear choice, that he wants to be here for the forseeable future, and is totally committed.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 20:11 - Jun 18
Steve_ITFC-Sweden: not sure my remarks were cynical? Just being realistic. He would have gone if the right offer had come along and one day he will. That's not cynical. Not critical of him. Just realistic.

Saxonblue74 added 20:35 - Jun 18
Like he said, the decision is a private one. Let's enjoy that he's still with us and enjoy top flight football again. This will be the first experience for some of our younger fans, let's make it a good one!

bobble added 06:13 - Jun 19
whether he stayed or left never bothered me, as i knew we could get paul hurst or mick or even the dark lord back to take us into the champions league now we are a 1st div club....

TractorClarke added 07:04 - Jun 19
I must admit i agree with others in here that it took the shine off the promotion a bit to be honest.

Any fan of itfc will be extremely happy he has stayed, me included, however there is no loyalty in football these days. He owes us as much as we owe him, due to the fact we started this manager career for him, or at least enabled it first, and yes he has excelled, excellent we all love him for that, but lets be honest, and others have said it, if man u had of said we want you, it would have been bye bye.

On the one hand i can see the lure, its the club he supports etc etc, however i do not buy the moving quick because it is a short career. If your still playing the game, yes it is, as a manager though you are gonna have a far better and longer career cutting your teeth at a club like ours that is growing and going places. Gerrard, Lampard are just a couple that spring to mind that made bigger jumps than they were capable of making at the time and now look where they are.

I really do feel like Mckenna did us dirty during that period to be honest, there was no info and it dragged on for far longer than it should have. I cant fault wanting better terms because the job pressure has increased further, but from all involved could have been handled better.

I also think Brighton and Chelsea were the bargaining chips for the improved contract with us, but man u was the one he was waiting on, and of course we were helped there by this review they were doing, i dont think he wanted to keep waiting so ultimately it was best to stay, but in different circumstances man u would have been his destination.

Ill end this rant and babble with this. I am so appreciative of all the hard work he and his staff, also the players, owners etc, have put into this club, my gratitude and appreciation will be there forever for that, however i will never be ok with this club not being first. I got to a point in that period where i wanted him to just go, if itfc is not your priority and you are looking to jump ship at first opportunity then thank you but bye. Ultimately with emotion out of it the right decision has been made for all parties, but now you have manufactured this incredibly lucrative contract, if reports are correct, its now time to deliver on that. I will be behind Mckenna all the way, but your end of the bargain to justify all of this now has to be paid, you have my support, up the town

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 07:05 - Jun 19
WhoisJimmyJuan: I accept your point. Please see my reply to Portman51 above. No offence intended.

backwaywhen added 09:01 - Jun 19
How do you or anyone know he wanted to jump ship at this time ? KM was always going to listen to offers it’s human nature after all , whilst all along he wasn’t wanting to move anywhere yet , didn’t expose his hand either as not to enhance further negotiations with us regarding improving his contract here .
In McKenna we trust

Writtleblue added 09:05 - Jun 19
I would settle for survival this season and move on to greater things next.

TractorClarke added 09:19 - Jun 19
Of course i dont know anything for certain, only Mckenna and others behind the scenes do, however everyone is capable of reading between the lines, it happens all the time. The reporting does not get to the level that it did in sporting news unless there is some weight to it.

Like anyone else, he is entitled to listen to offers, but when the questions are dodged when pushed further on it, that makes me think it was closer than we know. Added to that reports that he was close to joining palace too, i think people are forgetting that came out of the woodwork during that will he leave wont he period we have just had.

You might be right, he may have never had any intention of going anywhere, great we have all got what we wanted, but the perceived deception in not answering properly leads me to believe things were quite progressive on that front. Thats my opinion and i know there are a lot of other fans that feel let down by this for the same reasons, there isnt smoke without fire and as i said in my post i am happy he has stayed and he has my full support all the way, but i cant help but feel let down by that fiasco.

TractorClarke added 09:22 - Jun 19
Added to that of course, it took the big wig from game changer to come over and get a deal done for improved terms, might have just been normal and would have happened anyway, but it doesnt need him flying over to get those terms done. That to me says there was real concern he was going and the big guns needed deploying to convince otherwise.

Again my opinion

WhoisJimmyJuan added 17:10 - Jun 19
None taken Steve-ITFC-Sweden. You're a good intelligent poster.

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