Oran Kearney: St Mirren confirm manager's departure

Oran Kearney
Oran Kearney took charge of St Mirren last September

Oran Kearney is "gutted" to no longer be St Mirren manager but concedes it was "crystal clear" his "time was up".

St Mirren confirmed the Northern Irishman's departure on Wednesday after almost 10 months in charge.

Kearney kept the Paisley side in the Scottish Premiership last term after a play-off win over Dundee United.

But the Northern Irishman, 40 - who joined from Coleraine on a three-year deal - had not been at training since St Mirren returned on Monday.

"I gave 100% commitment, as I've done at any club I've been at," Kearney said. "I am very proud of the job I did and the turnaround I made, [but I'm] just sad not to be seeing it though."

In a short statement confirming the news, St Mirren said they "wish to thank Oran for his time in charge and wish him every success in the future".

Former captain Jim Goodwin is favourite to become the club's 10th manager in just over nine years and has been permission to speak to St Mirren.

The Irishman kept part-time Alloa Athletic in the Scottish Championship last term, having earned promotion a year earlier.

'You will always have a place in my heart'

Kearney has been commuting to Paisley from his family's base in Ballymoney in his homeland each week - an arrangement that has reportedly caused tensions with the club.

Chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick had to play down suggestions the manager could return to Northern Ireland, with Coleraine still searching for a new coach more than six weeks after the sacking of Kearney's successor, Rod McAree.

Coleraine chairman Colin McKendry indicated Kearney would be the "number one target" to fill their managerial vacancy if he became available.

McKendry described it as "a no brainer", adding he had "never hidden the fact he would be keen to have Oran back at the club should he return to Northern Ireland".

St Mirren were scheduled to play Coleraine in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, but that has now been postponed.

Kearney did not discuss his future in a statement posted on Twitter, but thanked his players - as well as various other people around the club - and said they "deserve some stability".

He also paid tribute to the St Mirren fans, saying he had been "overwhelmed" by their support.

As we got stronger, so did you ,"he said. "You will always have a place in my heart for the faith and backing you gave me and how you welcomed my family and friends. I wish you all even better times ahead."

Oran Kearney statement

'10 managers in 10 years is not stability' - analysis

Former St Mirren striker Steven Thompson

There was a definite feeling among the St Mirren supporters at the end of the season that Kearney had won them over.

The performances in the last six weeks of the season were good and it came as a huge surprise to me that the manager was going to be changed again.

St Mirren have had 10 managers in the last 10 years. That's not stability at all.

It just seems like there's a continual revolving door of managers. You can't possibly build with that structure in place.

Derek McInnes came to Aberdeen in 2013 and has been given time to build. Since then St Mirren have had eight managers.

Can you name the last nine St Mirren managers?

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