Dolan ended his managerial tenure on Leeside under a cloud at the start of 2005 but said that it was dispiriting to see the club go into freefall and claimed the issue would act as a “litmus test” for the FAI’s running of football in this country.
“How on earth, having been in liquidation last year, can they have a budget passed under this (the League of Ireland) licensing (system), is quite extraordinary?” Dolan asked yesterday when contacted by the Irish Examiner.
“This will be the litmus test for John Delaney and his plans for the league.
“He has to take control and he has to put together a sustainable model.
“It’s not difficult. I went down to Cork in 2003 and it was not because I was Albert Einstein that things went well. Things were so disorganised, it was almost a pleasure to put some structure in place.
“And after a couple of years we were ready to take on the world. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out and so, in the unique way of Cork soccer, we find ourselves in the situation again.
“It’s very dispiriting. It’s not just an attack on football in Cork but on the whole brand. We have a had a terrific 10 days in Irish football, Shamrock Rovers putting on a great show for the world against Real Madrid, Bohs giving Salzburg a game even though they had spent 20 or 30 times more on their squad and we’ve had our other two teams go through in Europe (St Patrick’s Athletics and Derry).
“We’re told the way to grab the attention of the media and the public was to get decent European results and yet it’s more doom and gloom. The League of Ireland brand died years ago and what do they do to appeal to the blazers who have the power? They bring back that label. This is a real litmus test: can the FAI run football in this country?
“There’s a gold mine of young talent in Cork and it’s an indictment on all of us that this has been allowed to happen again.
Dolan appealed to the sport’s governing body to intervene before it’s too late for the 2005 league champions, claiming “only the FAI are powerful enough to sort this out”.
“Right now, it seems to be that it’s about short term survival and it needs the FAI to step in,” he said.
“They’ll say they can’t help out one club over another but actually they can, they owe Cork City because Cork City have delivered a lot to the league over the last few seasons.
“It’s so important now that the club survives in an honest and transparent way and the FAI must intervene and put the people in there that know what to do. Set up something sustainable, it’s not difficult in Cork, the talent is there, the crowd is there. I’m sure something will happen because that always seems to be the way but the damage it does to the brand is unforgivable.
“For this to happen for the second time in 12 months under the umbrella of the FAI is not good enough. This shouldn’t be in the public domain.
“Now is John Delaney’s chance to step up to the plate and make it happen. The only time the league gets on the front pages is for doom and gloom. It’s dreadful. I really feel for Paul Doolin and the players. It breaks my heart. It’s very important that Cork City is healthy. They are the best supported club in the country despite all this doom and gloom.”