Mick McCarthy named new manager of Cypriot side APOEL
Former Ireland boss back in the dugout with Cyprus’s most successful side until May 2020
Mick McCarthy is back in management with APOEL of Cyprus. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty
Former Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has been confirmed as manager of Cypriot side APOEL with the 61-year-old agreeing a deal to take charge until the end of next season.
McCarthy will be joined at the club by his former assistant at Ipswich and Ireland, Terry Connor.
In a statement, the club said that: “We welcome both of them to Apoel and we wish them to immediately help the team return to performing well so that it can achieve its goals, which are to win titles.”
Apoel have won plenty of those but are struggling at present having won just two of their opening eight league games this season. They currently lie 10th in the 14-team top flight. They were also eliminated from the qualifying rounds of the Europa League by Slovan Liberec of the Czech Republic.
Greek coach Marinos Ouzounidis, the 12th man since 2015 to occupy the role on an ostensibly long-term basis, was subsequently fired having only been back at the club for a second stint since February.
During the time, the squad was significantly overhauled but there are persistent reports in Cyprus that the process has been heavily influenced by club chairman Promdromis Petrides who is regularly accused of interfering in team affairs.
Speaking last week to local media, Petrides revealed that the club, traditionally the biggest in the country, and completely dominant in recent seasons with seven titles in a row between 2013 and 2019, owes the government there €8,000,000 and has lost €5,000,000 in the current fiscal year.
Part of the problem is the cost of dispensing with all of the managers with the chairman revealing that they have spent €1,200,000 over the past two seasons on severance packages, but Petrides provided assurances that the club remains stable financially.
McCarthy arrives having done rather well financially out of his short stint back in charge of Ireland and he will presumably have been hired on the basis of his reputation in England for being able to motivate players. At his new club he will be working with a diverse group with a small number of Cypriot players augmented by imports from across Europe, Africa, South America and beyond.
McCarthy is likely to need to spark a dramatic improvement if he is to have any chance of fulfilling his 19 month contract.