Former Aston Villa, Sunderland & Nottingham Forest manager handed top job after five years out of management

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A former Aston Villa boss has been voted into a top job after a long spell out of football management.

Former Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill has secured himself a top job after five years out of management. The former Republic of Ireland boss will not be returning to traditional management - at least not at this point - set to take over a position held by former Leeds United boss Howard Wilkinson for more than 30 years.

O’Neill has been handed the chairman role at the League Managers Association, returning to full-time work around five years after departing the Nottingham Forest job. O’Neill was, of course, Villa manager between 2006 and 2010, while he also managed Celtic, Leicester City, Sunderland and others.

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He now goes into a very different role, supporting present and future managers as they navigate the trials and tribulations of the industry. Speaking about his appointment, O’Neill said in a statement: “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 [chief executive] 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.”

The LMA was founded back in 1992, although the initial union began all the way back in 1919. The chief executive remains Richard Bevan, while the president is, by default, the manager of the England national team, currently Gareth Southgate.

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