The Reasoning Behind The Odd Timing Of Pat Lam’s Departure Revealed
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Connacht fans were left shocked yesterday morning by the announcement that Pat Lam would be leaving the Sportsground at the end of the season.
The Kiwi had another year to run on the contract he signed in 2015, but has come to an agreement with Connacht to leave and has described the decision as “one of the most difficult I’ve had to make in my life”
Aviva Premiership strugglers Bristol shortly after the shocking announcement revealed that they would be his next destination. The decision to announce his departure so close to their crucial Champions Cup tie with Wasps this weekend has been questioned however.
It’s now been revealed by Darren Frehill on Morning Ireland that Lam had a clause in his contract stating that he had to give six months’ notice of any move away from the Sportsground, to better facilitate the appointment of a successor.
Lam was tempted away by a “significant and compelling” offer from Bristol but Connacht already have a list of replacements drawn according to the chairman of the rugby advisory board at Connacht, Conor McGuinness.
“Pat got approached by, what he described himself, as a very significant and compelling offer,” McGuinness told RTÉ Sport.
“Bristol have a lot of funding and are a heavily financed club.
“We’ve know for a number of weeks, and we’ve been talking to Pat, that there has been interest in him.
When asked about potential replacements, McGuinness said:
“We have [a list]. This is what we do in terms of the structures and the processes.
“As a rugby advisory board we actually have a contingency plan in place looking at potential coaches. Not just in terms of Pat Lam but in terms of succession plans around the other coaching teams.
“In the modern game you have to be looking around the next corner.
“We do have a list of names; we’re going to be meeting David Nucifora and identifying the type of candidate that we want to take the club to the next level.”
Frehill also reports that Lam is in line to at least double his salary, and could earn between £500,000 and £700,000 per year.