Theses included a meeting last Tuesday week with Des Casey, the highly respected international administrator, who was a member of the Independent Assessment Group which carried out the process.Mr. Matthews acknowledged that Mr. Casey and his fellow members had a very hard job to do and did it with the utmost integrity and respect for Dundalk. He said he hadDundalk FC owner and chief executive Gerry Matthews said yesterday (Wednesday) that he was “happy to move on” after all reservations he had over the selection system for the new FAI Eircom League were allayed following a series of meetings with those involved in the process.
Theses included a meeting last Tuesday week with Des Casey, the highly respected international administrator, who was a member of the Independent Assessment Group which carried out the process.
Mr. Matthews acknowledged that Mr. Casey and his fellow members had a “very hard job to do and did it with the utmost integrity and respect for Dundalk.” He said he had “great respect for Des and his integrity in these matters.”
He followed that two hours of talks on Thursday last in Drogheda with two of the top outgoing officers of the Eircom League, Paddy McCaul who was the chairman and Eamon McNaughton who filled the role of treasurer.
Mr. McCaul is to act as chairman of the revamped league, with Mr. McNaughton the vice-chairman.
Mr. Matthews described it as a “constructive meeting” but there was other information that he needed clarified and resulted in him requesting a meeting with John Delaney, CEO of the FAI, which went ahead on Friday morning in Dublin.
It lasted a similar two-hour duration, and altogether satisfied whatever misgivings Mr. Matthews felt regarding the treatment of Dundalk in not being selected to compete in the new Premier League.
He continued he was “glad to get it all sorted and to meet with the parties in such a short space of time when things are fresh in the mind rather than leave it over until after Christmas. I think it was the best way to do it.”
Besides talking with the three officers and Mr. Casey, the club owner stated he was also allowed view certain documents pertinent to the whole process.
He admitted it was “a very exhausting time” to muster all the facts and then to weigh up whether the club was treated fairly.
The CEO said the clubs had signed up to the process, and the mix-up over the play-offs was not the FAI’s fault.
He mused that he was sure the FAI and Eircom League together with the clubs would all have done something different if it were to happen again, “but hindsight is a wonderful thing,” he added
“It’s one of those things you have to accept. If you dwell too much on what happened you won’t look into the future and plan for the future,” he concluded.