Friday 14 December 2018

Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny accuses John Caulfield of lies as row with Cork rumbles on

Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Stephen Kenny has confirmed that Dundalk are considering their options after Karl Sheppard’s decision to stay with Cork after signing a pre-contract agreement with the Oriel Park club.

Kenny also claimed that Sheppard made the first move when it came to entering negotiations with Dundalk. The striker was all set to leave Cork but abandoned the plans after the Leesiders convinced him to stay. In a lengthy statement, Kenny offered his version events.

“Karl Sheppard approached a member of our staff to say he was moving to Balbriggan and would we be interested in signing him,” he said. “Negotiations were concluded quickly and a pre-contract agreement drawn up by the club’s solicitor in September.

“Karl travelled up to the City North Hotel to sign the pre-contract agreement. A pre-contract is a big commitment both ways as, for example, the club would have been liable for this salary for the next two years if he had got injured for Cork.  At that time, we could have announced that signing as a pre-contract signing. However out of respect for Karl we didn’t. We didn’t confirm it but we just couldn’t keep denying it.

“After the cup final, Karl had a change of heart. It’s always difficult for a player to leave and go to a rival, to be fair, and as a manager there’s nothing you can do in that situation. It’s in the club’s hands now. The club will deal with it as they see best.”

Kenny also hit back at John Caulfield after the Cork boss accused his Dundalk counterpart of lying about a phone call made to Stephen O’Donnell after last year’s cup final. Caulfield and Cork skipper John Dunleavy have both vehemently denied there was any call from the City bus taunting O’Donnell – fans of the club say the call came from a supporters bus.

But Kenny is sticking by his version. “To suggest that anyone could make something up like that is absurd. It’s bordering on the ridiculous.”

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