Tuesday 15 October 2019

'It is tough but you keep going' - Limerick boss Tommy Barrett wants 'justice' from betting probe

Limerick manager Tommy Barrett. Photo: Sportsfile
Limerick manager Tommy Barrett. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Limerick manager Tommy Barrett has opened up on a difficult period for the struggling First Division club.

Question marks hang over the future of the Shannonsiders after the club went into examinership.

The interim examiner has sought expressions of interest from investors that might want to help Limerick emerge from their current position.

However, negative publicity arising from an investigation into unusual betting patterns around two matches has brought further unwelcome attention on the club.

Mobile phones were seized in a raid by gardaí on the First Division side's training ground and a probe involving UEFA and the FAI is ongoing.

Barrett addressed the subject on the new LOI Weekly Podcast and indicated that he would like the inquiry to get to the bottom of the issue.

Declined

He declined to get drawn into the specifics but admitted it had been a tough time for everyone involved with the club.

"I don't want to comment as it's an ongoing investigation," said Barrett.

"It obviously wasn't nice. At the same time, if something is happening, we'd like to see justice as well.

"It is tough but you keep going. I consider myself resilient, I'd like to think so anyway.

"I don't want to be getting the violin out. We shouldn't be talking about this stuff and that's the problem. We shouldn't be talking about any off-the-field stuff. We shouldn't be talking about examinership and those issues."

Limerick have also been in the news due to a dispute with Sean Russell who is fundraising so he can undergo surgery on a knee problem he suffered in March.

Russell had signed for Limerick on amateur terms and said on these pages yesterday that his plight had exposed "a grey area".

Blues supporters helped Russell get funds together for an initial operation.

Barrett has made it clear that he's uncomfortable with how things have worked out for the player.

"Sean is a great lad," he said. "He was an amateur player playing for expenses and I don't like to see that. I don't want to be a part of what's happened to him.

"I'm liaising with him as much as I can around it. Even the likes of that, that needs to be sorted as soon as possible."

The long-term position of Barrett is unclear, with the 40-year-old acknowledging that he's found the past two seasons challenging.

"It's been difficult to manage the whole situation," he said.

Meanwhile, Waterford boss Alan Reynolds says that his future with the club is dependent on the mindset of Blues owner Lee Power.

Last Friday's victory over Bohemians has eased relegation fears after a disappointing year for Waterford with the controversial loss of a European place infuriating Power.

"Without Lee Power, there would be no club," said Reynolds. "We need him and we are grateful for him, so hopefully he sticks around and invests more. I'm not sure where he is at the minute with it.

"All going well, the plan is that I will still be with Waterford (next year) but a lot will depend on what Lee will do. We want to build on what we've done but I don't think it will be possible without Lee."

Irish Independent

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