Niall Currie watches Ards game as move to Portadown appears likely

Ards manager Niall Currie
Niall Currie watched Ards draw 3-3 with Ballinamallard United on Friday night from the side of the pitch

Ards boss Niall Currie's move to take over the managerial reins at Portadown appears to be moving closer after he watched the north Down club's draw with Ballinamallard United from pitchside.

First team coach John Bailie took charge of Ards for the game, which ended 3-3 at the Bangor Fuels Arena.

Following the game, Currie was expected to say his farewells to players and staff after five years in charge.

Ards are seeking compensation for the 18 months remaining on his contract.

Portadown are understood to have not responded to an official Ards statement on this and the clubs are believed to be still in dispute over the matter.

"Nothing is resolved but we understand Niall's situation and we have no issue with the way he has conducted himself," said Ards chairman Brian Adams on Friday evening.

"He and I agreed that it would be difficult for him to take charge tonight," he added.

Currie has been involved in talks with Portadown in recent days, having emerged as the preferred canididate to take over the reins at Shamrock Park.

Interim boss Vinny Arkins stepped aside on Thursday, having been in caretaker charge of the crisis club since previous manager Pat McGibbon resigned in mid October.

Arkins was not in contention to succeeed McGibbon as he does not hold a Uefa A coaching licence.

A statement from Ards on Thursday night said that the club had received a request from Portadown to speak to Currie about the vacancy.

The statement added Ards would seek compensation "for breach of contract" if Currie is offered the Portadown post.

"Portadown FC were at the outset informed that Niall had around 18 months to run on his contract and that our club would frown upon a job offer being made without compensation for breach of contract being discussed," added the Ards statement.

Vinny Arkins
Vinny Arkins stepped down from his interim Portadown post on Thursday afternoon

Arkins didn't want 'diminished role'

Earlier on Thursday, Arkins explained the reason for his departure from Shamrock Park.

"I became aware there would be a diminished role for me moving forward," Arkins told the Portadown Times.

"So I spoke to the chairman and told him it was best to make a clean break.

"I have contacted the players and wish the club every success moving forward, as that is the most important thing," added Arkins, who is Portadown's all-time leading scorer.

Portadown have endured a season of turmoil after being handed a 12-point deduction for making irregular payments to players plus additional fines.

After playing 18 games in the Irish Premiership campaign, Portadown are cut adrift at the bottom of the table on minus one points.

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