Monday 11 November 2019

Dundalk manager Vinny Perth takes responsibilty for Chris Shields' FAI Cup final ban

Dundalk defender Brian Gartland and head coach Vinny Perth with the FAI Cup at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Sunday's final showdown with Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Dundalk defender Brian Gartland and head coach Vinny Perth with the FAI Cup at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Sunday's final showdown with Shamrock Rovers. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Dundalk manager Vinny Perth says that he has to take responsibility for key man Chris Shields' suspension for Sunday's FAI Cup final, but asserted that he will be able to speak in more detail about the episode when the game is out of the way.

Shields misses the match after picking up eight bookings across the season. The key caution was in their penultimate league game with Cork City, a fixture that was ultimately meaningless for a side that was already crowned champions.

It's understood that Dundalk were working off the impression that the amnesty on bookings for the FAI Cup final - which means that players who pick up five bookings do not miss out on the showpiece - also applied to individuals that had hit the next threshold of eight.

However, the rules stated otherwise. Perth found out last Saturday morning, and correspondence between the club, the player and FAI confirmed that the influential midfielders will have to sit out the showdown with Shamrock Rovers.

"Chris is obviously extremely disappointed. It's not something that we were naive to so it was a bit of a shock to the two of us after we found out," said Perth this afternoon.

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Chris Shields of Dundalk. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

"There are loads of different things that could and should have happened . As head of the football club, I take responsibility for it in the football part of it.

"I'll go into the ins and outs of if after Sunday. I don't think that we need to get into excuse-making mode in any way, shape or form. We accept it and move on."

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley expressed sympathy with Shields' plight, and expressed the view that an accumulation of yellow cards should not force a player to miss a cup final.

"I do think they should be wiped," he said. "We had to be careful because Ronan (Finn) was very close to missing as well, so the last few weeks we've had to be careful with Ronan.

"I'm disappointed for Chris to be honest, because he's a top player. Players like him deserve to play in games like this and occasions like this.

"It's about showcasing the league, it's the best two teams in the country and you want the best players on the pitch and he's one of them.

"I feel for him as an individual, I genuinely do. He's earned the right to play here. But the rules are the rules. They should be wiped for the cup final, but the rules are there, aren't they? It's happened a few players over the years."

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