Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny has addressed what happened with the potential Karl Sheppard move along with his thoughts on John Caulfield’s comments on ‘Off the Ball’ this week.
Speaking to Dundalk’s website this is what the Dubliner had to say.
“Karl Sheppard approached a member of our staff to say he was moving to Balbriggan and would we be interested in signing him. He’s a good player. He can play in a number of positions. 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. However, we undertook to do that.
“At that time, we could have announced that signing as a pre-contract signing however out of respect for Karl we didn’t. There had just been persistent questions in the weeks leading up to it. We didn’t confirm it but we just couldn’t keep denying it.
“It was like a situation with other players in the league. It wasn’t any different – like Greg Bolger going from Cork City to Shamrock Rovers or to Tobi Adebayo Rowling going to Cork City. There was a lot of speculation about it but we didn’t confirm or deny 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. ”
Speaking to Dundalkfc.com Kenny also responded to John Caulfield’s claims on Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme last night and found it strange that the Cork City manager went on the airwaves to address issues when he had a chance to talk about it in person with Kenny on Sunday.
“In relation to John Caulfield’s accusation of lies on Newstalk’s programme where he claims I made the situation up about a phone call to Stephen O’Donnell, it is common knowledge that Stephen O’Donnell got the phone call.
“We had a meal in the AVIVA on Sunday after the FAI Cup Final. I shook hands with John Caulfield, John Cotter and Liam Kearney. I congratulated them on their FAI Cup win and John could have brought anything up with me then but he chose to go on to Newstalk and attack me personally, accused me of lying and all of that which is completely out of order.
“To suggest that anyone could make something up like that is absurd. It’s bordering on the ridiculous. ”