Saturday 17 November 2018

Dub players round on Bailey

John Harrington

Stars to lobby county board THE DUBLIN senior football team yesterday rounded on under-fire county board chairman John Bailey, describing his decision to vote against Tom Carr's re-appointment as manager despite his recent public backing for him as 'galling.'

In a strongly worded statement, the players appealed to club delegates who will attend a county board meeting next Monday night at which the management issue will be discussed not to support the management committee's vote of no confidence in Carr and his selectors, made on Wednesday.

Describing the management committee's 4-3 vote as 'shambolic' the players stated they felt "obliged to respond publicly in a bid to reverse the move, and highlight the lack of integrity involved in the due process."

Carr was reappointed for a two-year term at the end of last season, with a review planned at the end of the first year.

Criticising the "upheaval created by officials in a smoke-filled room," which "drags Dublin football, embarrassingly, into the public arena and sullies it in the process," the statement concluded by directing another thinly veiled barb in Bailey's direction.

"Honesty is demanded from anyone who wears the Dublin jersey. We expect it from our selectors and from our manager. Should we not, at least, expect honesty from our officials?"

Despite several attempts by the Irish Independent to contact Bailey yesterday, the Dublin chairman proved elusive. In the absence of any explanation, his decision to suddenly turn against Carr appears surprising.

Carr is clearly surprised, and hurt, by the management committee's decision not to recommend his re-appointment to the board.

Speaking on RTE Radio yesterday, he said he was: "Not comfortable bringing Dublin football into the national arena, it's not where it belongs ... but I want to make my position clear."

He insisted he and his team were asked to continue on for another year by those who "publicly supported us, then privately opposed us."

"I and my selectors, for one moment, would not stay on if we felt we didn't have the 100 per cent backing of the players," he added. "All we want is to be dealt with a little bit of integrity and honesty along the way. That is how I deal with the players." Carr criticised Bailey's decision not to ratify his re-appointment despite publicly and privately backing him in the recent past. "I just find that it's unacceptable behaviour and lacks integrity and honesty."

"In so many counties players are looking to get rid of managers, and this is the other way around. Players want to keep me and the county board doesn't."

Carr has not yet decided whether to attend Monday night's county board meeting and feels it is "highly unlikely delegates would overturn the decision. I will abide by whatever decision is made." Carr yesterday declined to comment further. He is understood to have taken the counsel of county board secretary John Costello, who is understood to be angered at how the affair has been handled by Bailey.

Carr may not attend Monday night's meeting, but it appears possible at least one player will be there in an official capacity. Paul Curran yesterday said he hopes to be one of his club's delegates.

"We're (Dublin players) also looking at the possibility of handing out leaflets to delegates on their way into the meeting. As long as there's a chance to fight, then why not fight," asked Curran, who ruled-out the possibility of the players going on strike.

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