April 23, 2024

LMA welcomes Martin O’Neill OBE as new Chair 

The League Managers Association is delighted to announce that Martin O’Neill OBE has been appointed the new Chair of the association to succeed Howard Wilkinson. Howard will be retiring as Chairman of the LMA at the end of the 2023/24 season.

Martin began his playing career in Northern Ireland before moving to England in 1971 where he spent most of his playing career with Nottingham Forest, twice winning the European Cup under legendary manager Brian Clough. Additionally, he was capped sixty-four times for Northern Ireland including captaining the side at the 1982 World Cup.

As a manager, Martin has managed over 1000 games. His management career started at Grantham Town before moving on to Wycombe Wanderers, Norwich City, Leicester City, Celtic, Aston Villa and Sunderland. He took Leicester City from the Football League to the Premier League and guided the club to the Football League Cup Final three times, winning twice. As Celtic manager, he won seven trophies including three Scottish Premier League titles and led them to the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. After joining Aston Villa he achieved three consecutive sixth-place finishes in the English Premier League, qualifying for Europe and guiding them to the 2010 Football League Cup Final.

He became Republic of Ireland manager in 2013, leading them, in 2016, to qualification for the UEFA European Championship for only the third time in the nation’s history, beating Germany the reigning world champions in the process.

Martin was one of eight LMA members from both the men’s and women’s game who stood for election, with the vote being open to the full LMA membership.

Martin will succeed Howard Wilkinson in the role of LMA Chair at the LMA Annual Awards on 21 May 2024.

Howard Wilkinson was a founding member of the LMA and has fulfilled the duties of Chair since the association’s formation in 1992. Under Howard’s stewardship, the LMA has expanded significantly providing world-class services to its members, including an all-encompassing programme of health and wellbeing support services, career and personal development support, legal services and most importantly, a universally representative voice of the managers in professional football.

Reflecting on his time as Chair, Howard commented: “I am immensely honoured to have been the Chair of the LMA and I am tremendously proud of the association that stands before us today – we’ve come a long way in the last 30 plus years. The association has grown beyond any expectations we had when we originally sat down at Elland Road to discuss the way forward all those years ago.

“Martin brings to the role a wealth of varied and invaluable experience, from Grantham Town to the Euros, which gives him a brilliant perspective on the challenges faced by the LMA membership. I felt so honoured back in 1992 to be appointed LMA Chair,  I am sure that Martin will experience similar emotions and I look forward to watching the LMA continue to grow under Martin’s stewardship.”

On his appointment Martin said: “I am extremely proud to be voted the new LMA Chair by my fellow managers. I am succeeding Howard Wilkinson who has, for over 30 years, overseen the growth of the LMA and served its members with great distinction, dedication and passion.

“The support I have received from the LMA throughout my time as a manager has been hugely important to me and I am delighted to have the opportunity to give something back to the association.

“I very much look forward to working alongside Richard Bevan and the team. I would like to build on the work Howard has done so diligently and hopefully continue to support the current and next generation of LMA members.”

On Howard’s retirement Richard Bevan said: “Howard Wilkinson has been an outstanding LMA Chair. He has worked tirelessly to build an association for our members which is globally recognised as one of the most progressive organisations in world sport. On behalf of the entire LMA membership and their families I thank Howard for his vision and dedication over the last 33 years and I wish him well in his retirement.”

On Martin’s appointment as Chair: “Martin has always been an extremely valued and active member of the LMA. Over the years he has readily made himself available to the association, sharing his insight and experiences to help and develop other coaches and managers. He has also provided invaluable support to the LMA’s charity partners, commercial programme, as well as representing the LMA’s collective voice.

“Throughout his management career Martin always fostered a collective desire and camaraderie amongst his teams, enabling them to realise their true potential, a quality which will now benefit the future growth and direction of the LMA. The LMA team and I look forward to supporting and working with Martin.”   

Return to Home Page
More Articles