Jim Magilton says Irish League clubs deserve fair price for prized assets as Ronan Hale heads for Ross County

Photo showing Cliftonville’s Ronan Hale celebrating
-Credit: (Image: INPHO/Stephen Hamilton)


Jim Magilton says clubs in England and Scotland will have to pay the going rate to land the Irish League's top stars.

The Cliftonville boss looks set to lose one of his prized assets as Ronan Hale closes in on a move to Ross County. The Reds had already turned down one bid for their star striker from the Scottish Premiership outfit, but it seems an acceptable has now been agreed by both clubs.

For years a number of top players left these shores for low transfer fees. However, Magilton has insisted it is only fair Irish Premiership clubs get what they deserve for their stars when teams across the water try to prise them away.

Read next: Ambitious Tiernan Lynch declares it would be 'stupid' not to look at future opportunities

Read next: Casement Park will be built one way or another, insists new Northern Ireland Secretary Hilary Benn

“We have really good players and if clubs want to entice them there’s not a lot you can do about that until it either ends or something happens, but we have to get what is a fair price," said the Reds boss.

“You think of the players that have left the League recently and then look at Ronan’s goals and stats which are fantastic – when you have lads who want to have an opportunity to play full-time football across the water, I don’t think any club in this country will deny them that.

"It's ongoing, so watch this space. For these moves to happen there needs to be a transfer fee the club is prepared to accept." While Magilton is pleased to see Hale's performances earning him his move, he is sad to see him depart Solitude.

“Ronan’s a fantastic player and he’s been absolutely brilliant since I came to the club," he said. “We didn't have him for the first few months last season and what he has done to finish the season in the manner he did is incredible.

“We can recall St Mirren signing Conor McMenamin (from Glentoran) and it wasn’t a case of them taking a chance on him as he was an international player.

“Robbo (Stephen Robinson) did his homework and he’s done great until unfortunately picking up his injury but they qualified for Europe and Conor played a part in that. Does it surprise any of us that Ronan is getting major interest? – no and it’s something that the football club has to deal with."

Join Belfast Live’s new Irish League WhatsApp group. Click this link to receive the latest Irish League headlines and breaking news direct to your phone. We also treat our members to special offers, promotions and adverts from us and our partners. If you don’t like our group, you can check out any time you like. If you’re curious, you can read our Privacy Notice