Doolin admits concern for future of cash-strapped league

CORK City boss Paul Doolin expressed concern for the future of his club – and the League of Ireland – at the Setanta Cup draw at FAI headquarters in Abbottstown, Dublin yesterday.

With City’s existence hanging in the balance, the former Drogheda manager admitted his worries about the direction the game has taken domestically.

Said Doolin: “It doesn’t seem to be able to offer you what you are looking for – anybody, players, supporters and coaches. The current economic climate doesn’t help.

“But even when the country and the world was good, the league still struggled.

“But maybe next week is a better time to sit down and talk about how I really feel about the league.”

Doolin was adopting a cautious policy with regards City’s future.

“We will just have to wait and see. But I gather things got worse this morning. It’s not really the right time to talk about it at the moment,” said Doolin.

“Up until today we have all been paid and we are due to be paid again on Wednesday.

“We will prepare for the Bray game in the usual way. There will be a match unless the players decide not to play.

“The PFAI will be down in the morning and will talk to the players and the chairman, Tom Coughlan.”

Doolin admits the potential loss of top flight football on Leeside would be a massive blow the county and region.

“They are the only club in the city but they are competing with a lot of good sports like the (previous) Heineken Cup champions – and then there is the gaelic football and hurling.

“There is a mentality down there that they should win no matter who they are. It has been an unstable club for the last 12 months. But the players have been fantastic. Look at the 1-1 result against Derry at the Brandywell on Sunday.

“We are still in with a chance of winning this league. If were eight points behind going into the last series of games, I would have taken it. This year we had a very good start, not a good middle. But we are still there.”

Doolin expressed concern for his playing staff and all those employed at Turner’s Cross.

“The lads want to know about their futures and the PFAI will come down tomorrow and say – ‘listen fellows, you are on the list, anyone can leave’. Where they can go I don’t know. There are probably one or two clubs at the moment – Shamrock Rovers are quite secure. Maybe one or two players might go there. I don’t know.”

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