Alan Matthews returned to Turner’s Cross as a manager last night and, while his Drogheda United side couldn’t take any points from Cork City, he expressed fears for the future of the Cork club.
City, in front of more than 2,000 fans who had been admitted free, won a lacklustre affair 1-0 with a Denis Behan goal on 38 minutes to send them third in the table with a third win in a row.
Afterwards, Mathews, who was replaced by Coughlan in December and is pursuing legal action against City, said that he feared for the club’s long-term future.
“I think when you look at the new regime that’s going on down here, unfortunately it looks like the club, post-examinership, doesn’t look like it has come through its difficulties,” he said.
“It’s well known there are ongoing issues with payments, it appears there are ongoing problems, the club has been in the papers during the season and in pre-season.
“My own situation obviously has taken legs and gone a different direction. I fear for the players here, I fear that the people running the club have already made reference to the fact that they’re inexperienced.
“Normally, post-examinership, companies are on a strong financial footing, it remains to be seen whether that’s the case down here.”
Mathews did say he feared for the fans and employees at City, who had deserved “respect and dignity”.
“I just fear for the longevity of this club and I hope the supporters, who have been fantastic, who deserve a good team to support, and the players and the staff are treated with the respect and dignity they’ve shown. It’s a long road that has no turning and I’m sure things will iron themselves out.”
Having guided the club to last November’s Setanta Cup while the club was in examinership, Mathews was applauded warmly as he made his way to the dugout.
“I came down here and gave it my all and I think the supporters respected that,” he said.
“The manager here has inherited a very good bunch of players, strongly focused and they’ll stick together through thick and thin.
“I gave everything here and the supporters knew that
“It was very nice to receive that (applause) and I look forward to coming back down here again.”
Our efforts to contact Tom Coughlan this morning failed.