Liam Buckley’s second spell as manager of St Patrick’s Athletic manager has ended with the club announcing that the 58-year-old had resigned his position “by mutual consent”.
Buckley, who returned six years ago to the club he had led to a league title back in 1999, had since won another championship, an FAI cup and two League Cup titles, the last of them in 2016.
Last season they struggled badly for long spells and looked for a while to be in real relegation trouble until additional investment allowed Buckley to strengthen his squad and the team ultimately finished the campaign in eighth place, four points clear of Galway United, the highest placed side to go down.
This season, the team’s form had been erratic until a run of seven consecutive defeats left them well off the pace in the race for Europe. They had shown some improvement in recent weeks, winning three and drawing one but then went down 1-3 to Bohemians last Saturday.
There is no indication as of yet as to who might be lined up to replace Buckley but former captain Ger O'Brien, now the club's director of football, is one obviously possibility, and he will take charge until the end of the season.
Bohemians boss Keith Long, who has managed to do well with a young squad over the last couple of seasons, may emerge as a target for owner Garrett Kelleher.
In a statement the two sides thanked each other with Kelleher acknowledging Buckley’s dedication to a “brand of free flowing and passing football” which he said,“brought much entertainment and enjoyment to those who witnessed it.”