Floriana threaten Collins with court
MALTESE club Floriana have given Roddy Collins and Cork City a deadline of tonight to apologise and offer compensation with respect to events surrounding the Dubliner’s controversial move to Leeside – or else they will pursue legal action for defamation and bring the case to FIFA.
Floriana are furious about the manner in which they lost the services of Collins and have gained the support of the Maltese Football Association, who will go to FIFA if there is no agreement sorted out between the parties in the next 24 hours.
Cork City said that Collins was a ‘free agent’ when they appointed him manager on December 23, but Floriana say that is not the case. After trying to secure a release over the phone, the former Bohs, Carlisle, Dublin City and Shamrock Rovers boss officially emailed the Maltese club citing personal reasons for his departure; they rejected that on the basis of his ongoing dalliance with Cork.
Floriana are pursuing a case against 48-year-old under three headings, and sent correspondence to Collins on December 29 outlining those points.
Firstly, they say he did not fulfil contract obligations by missing their league match with Qormi FC on December 18.
Secondly, they contest allegations made about the club, its members and officials related to payment of his wages and the house and car provided for his stay in Malta. Floriana are requesting a written retraction and apology from Collins or else they will legally pursue him for defamation and slander through the Irish courts given that he spoke extensively through Irish media channels about his problems – an interview given to Newstalk 106 on December 22 has been specifically cited. They are also seeking a retraction from Cork City.
Thirdly, they claim that Collins approached Cork seeking employment while manager of Floriana, a charge he denied in the days before he tried to quit his post in Malta. And, as they refused to sanction his departure, they say that Collins was acting illegally when putting pen to paper at Turner’s Cross.
Floriana want Cork City or Collins to buy out the remainder of his contract – a sum valued at €28,000 – or else they will pursue further avenues of compensation and will bring FIFA into the process. Acting Floriana President, Joe Cauchi, will attempt to speak with Cork owner, Tom Coughlan, or General Manager, Liam Meaney, today to see if there is any kind of offer forthcoming from the League of Ireland club.
Collins argues that the terms of his initial deal changed when he held discussions with officials at Floriana in late October/early November about his working arrangements. His family struggled to settle in Malta, which then led to a revision of his circumstances.
The Irish Independent contacted Collins last night, but he said that he didn’t want to comment on the argument being pursued by Floriana, stating that the affair is in the hands of his legal people. However, he said that he was unaware of any deadline set for today.
Floriana’s pain has been compounded by the imminent loss of Nigerian striker, Sunday Wasiu. They believe that he has been approached by Cork City after he left Malta to move to this part of the world; however it’s understood that he has been initially lined up for a trial at Coventry City.
Another dispute is the last thing Cork City need as they seek to cope with a variety of outstanding problems in the month where their Premier Division fate will be decided upon by the FAI’s Licensing Committee.
Earlier this week, Alan Mathews withdrew his legal proceedings against the club, a development which means that his case comes back under the remit of licensing. Mathews is listed as an employment creditor dating back to 2008, thus adding to the bill that the Leesiders need to settle if they are to have any chance of remaining in the top flight.