After the most recent international window, it had been largely assumed that Stephen Kenny's future as Ireland manager has already been decided upon.
It was thought that defeats against France and the Netherlands over the last week would see him removed from his position, with the only question being when the FAI would bring his tenure to an end. There had been some speculation that he could be sacked before next month's games against Greece and Gibraltar, with an approach for England U21 boss Lee Carsley mooted.
We were given some clarifications on what the next steps will be earlier this morning.
What does the future hold for Stephen Kenny?
The Irish press core gathered at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown earlier today, with FAI Director of Football Marc Canham addressing the media for the first time.
Canham has been in his role for 12 months and had a sizeable role in the review that led to Vera Pauw being let go as Ireland manager in recent weeks. As it turns out, he will be involved in a process relating to Stephen Kenny in the months ahead.
Speaking at Abbotstown, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill confirmed that Kenny would remain in his position for the remainder of 2023, with a review set to take place after the November international window.
At the end of 2023, Stephen Kenny is set to undergo a similar review process to the one conducted on Vera Pauw.
There is no guarantee he will be in charge for a Euro 2024 play-off in March should the team reach that point. pic.twitter.com/DLivDMRugl
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) September 14, 2023
We want to qualify for major tournaments, the public want it, the FAI want it and football in Ireland needs it. So we are, of course, disappointed to have lost the last two games and this will be discussed at the next FAI board meeting in September, as we review all international windows as normal.
While we might not have achieved the results we would have hoped for during this campaign, with qualification for the tournament set as a goal at the outset, I know the the manager and players are fully focused on the remaining matches this year, and they will prepare for, and deliver, those games accordingly.
Once these matches are played, and as with the Women's World Cup campaign, we will then conduct an in-depth review of the campaign in its entirety, and after the final friendly match in November against New Zealand. The board will then meet to consider this review and next steps.
This suggests that no decision has been made on the future of Stephen Kenny, who has a contract that runs until the end of Ireland involvement in the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign.
In saying that, while a commitment was made to keep Kenny in charge for the rest of 2023 barring an unforeseen change in circumstances, Hill would not go as far as to confirm that he would be in charge of a Euro 2024 play-off next March should Ireland reach that stage.
We will go through the games in October and November and we will review where we are in November and see what position we are in at that point. I can't hypothesise now in relation to that. We will see where we are in November.
I've spoke to Stephen about this and he's fully aware of it. We will have a very similar review of the whole of the campaign with Stephen, with the staff and with the players...
Everyone accepts, including Stephen, that results are a major part of that review process but it's important that Marc and myself have the opportunity to ask some of the questions and talk about some of the wider areas, not just results, as part of that review.
Stephen Kenny is safe in his position for now, with a full and frank review of the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign set to take place at the end of the year.
Considering the results in that campaign thus far, you would imagine such an inquest would likely bring about the end of his tenure as Ireland manager.