St Mirren: chairman Gordon Scott says Oran Kearney left 'of his own accord'

Kearney (left) kept St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership via the play-off
Kearney (left) kept St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership via the play-off

St Mirren had "no control" over Oran Kearney's exit as manager because the Northern Irishman left "of his own accord", says chairman Gordon Scott.

After leaving the Scottish Premiership club and rejoining Coleraine, Kearney said he had "hoped to secure another season" after taking over in September.

However, Scott insists his departure after keeping the Paisley club in the top flight was "the worst-kept secret in Scottish football".

"Maybe he wasn't 100%," Scott said.

"But you look at the Coleraine job - and it's pretty obvious he was always going there - that's the only thing that was annoying for me. It should have been sorted the last day [of the season]."

Kearney's acrimonious exit reportedly stemmed from tensions around his commute from Ballymoney in his homeland each week.

Scott thought a deal had been struck during the campaign - which culminated in St Mirren winning the Premiership play-off final against Dundee United on penalties - and considered the issue "resolved".

However, on Tuesday he claimed that Kearney - who has been replaced by Jim Goodwin - wanted to return to Northern Ireland more regularly.

"I think he wanted to commute literally on a daily basis, which to me was unacceptable," Scott said. "But we'd moved on and come to a compromise but that obviously wasn't enough for him.

"I can understand that and understand every reason why he wanted to go back to Ireland. The only disappointing thing for me was the manner in which it was done."

St Mirren have made just two signings this summer and begin their season on Sunday in Paisley against Dunfermline Athletic in the League Cup.

But despite the uncertainty at the start of pre-season, Scott says the club remains stable.

"Fortunately we'd expected it [Kearney's departure], we'd anticipated it, we'd prepared for it. So it's not affected us in any way other than perhaps maybe signing-wise we're not quite where we'd like to be."

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