Three-year deal

Ferguson in shock return as Inverness CT boss

Duncan Ferguson
Surprise: Duncan Ferguson

Duncan Ferguson has made a shock return to Scottish football as manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The 51-year-old has signed a three-year deal to replace Billy Dodds, who was sacked after a poor opening to the Championship campaign.

There was no compensation package to worry the Highlanders, with the former Scotland, Rangers and Everton striker available after his July sacking by Forest Green, where he won just once in 18 games in his first permanent senior managerial role.

A club statement said: “Duncan has worked alongside some of the most respected and outstanding football coaches in the world in recent seasons and we are proud to have him join ICTFC as our new manager.

“His professionalism, commitment and dynamic leadership skills shone through in our discussions, making him the stand out candidate.”

Priority for Stirling-born Ferguson will be to revitalise Inverness’ season, with the team sitting rock bottom of the table with just one point from the first six matches.

It is Ferguson’s first employment north of the Border since his conviction of assault following an incident during a game for Rangers against Raith Rovers in April 1994, when he headbutted the Fifers’ defender Jock McStay.

Already on probation after an incident in a bar in Anstruther when he was on the books of Dundee United – he started his career at Tannadice in 1990 before a British record £4million move to Ibrox three years later – he was hit with a three-month custodial sentence, of which he spent 44 days in Barlinnie Prison.

He announced his retirement from the international scene in the wake of a 12-match ban handed out by the Scottish FA.

After his release from prison, ‘Big Dunc’ left Ibrox on loan to join Everton, going on to sign a permanent contract at Goodison Park, where he spent four years.

Ferguson went on to sign for Newcastle United in an £8m deal in November 1998 before returning to Merseyside two years later, playing for Everton for another six years before hanging up his boots in 2006.

He was back at Goodison eight years later as a first team coach and spent a short time as caretaker boss after Marco Silva’s sacking in December 2019. He was made assistant manager when Carlo Ancelotti took the reins later that month and continued as the Toffees’ No. 2 when Rafa Benitez replaced Real Madrid-bound Ancelotti in June 2021.

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