However, the Hampshire club was now deep in debt and struggling back in the Fourth Division, having narrowly avoided going out of business the previous year. Staff wages regularly went unpaid, and many players moved elsewhere just to seek a guaranteed wage. McDonald often had to resort to recruiting amateur footballers just to be able to field a full side.
McDonald stayed with Aldershot until the club finally went out of business and left the Football League on 25 March 1992. His assistant Steve Wignall was appointed manager of the new Aldershot Town club which was formed several weeks later, and that summer McDonald made his own football comeback as a reserve team coach at Millwall. Later in 1992, McDonald had his own testimonial with the new Aldershot side at the Recreation Ground against Southampton. He now works part-time in schools support in the Barrow-in-Furness area.
On the 16th December 2013, McDonald returned to football management when he was appointed manager of Workington. The club he first played for over forty years earlier.