Cork players ‘unsettled’ by contract issue

CORK CITY boss Damien Richardson has admitted that the ongoing issue of unresolved contracts has been unsettling for the players in the long run-up to the FAI Ford Cup final against Longford Town next weekend.

No less than 11 members of the first team squad are out of contract, and players have expressed concern and annoyance about a situation which leaves their immediate career prospects shrouded in uncertainty.

Said manager Richardson: "Contracts are important aspects of the business but they are disruptive, they are unsettling. The contract situation has unsettled some of the players but we’re doing the best we can.

"Some of the events have been unavoidable and the manager is always the middle man in a situation like this. But we’re not part time anymore, we’re full time and everyone is depending on it as their livelihood.

"The original agreement was we’d let them (the players) know in July, but now we find ourselves in this situation.

"We are working through them now. With the new people taking over the club, everybody has their own way of doing things. We’ve a few sorted out, we’ve a few outstanding but hopefully we can sort out as many as we can over the next couple of days."

Meanwhile, the manager’s own future at the club has still to be ratified.

"My situation is I’ve agreed a contract," he said yesterday, but it’s understood that Richardson has yet to put pen to paper on the deal.

Cork City play Cobh Ramblers in a friendly at St Colman’s Park tomorrow as City continue their build-up to an FAI Cup Final on Sunday week which holds out the significant prospect of European and Setanta Cup football for the winners.