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Wexford Youths seeking compensation over Galway United's 'unprofessional' pursuit of manager

Chairman Mick Wallace labelled the appointment of Shane Keegan a ‘blatant breach of League of Ireland rules’.

Wexford Youths chairman and TD Mick Wallace (centre).
Wexford Youths chairman and TD Mick Wallace (centre).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

WEXFORD YOUTHS CHAIRMAN Mick Wallace has confirmed the club will lodge an official complaint with the FAI over Galway United’s appointment of manager Shane Keegan.

Keegan’s five years at Ferrycarrig Park came to end on Friday night in the second-leg of their promotion/relegation playoff against Drogheda United, a 3-0 defeat (3-2 on aggregate) seeing Wallace’s beloved club relegated back to the League of Ireland’s second tier.

However, ahead of Friday night’s clash it emerged that, no matter the result, Keegan would be leaving the club to begin a new role with Galway United next season. And that news caused Wallace great frustration hours out from such an important fixture.

As a result the TD has claimed the club will contact the game’s governing body to complain about Galway United’s pursuit of Keegan — something he considers to be a “blatant breach of League of Ireland rules” — and they will be seeking compensation.

“It’s been a difficult few days for all involved with Wexford Youths FC,” Wallace said in a statement.

“On Friday morning, the day of the biggest game in WYFC history, one that would determine whether the club could retain its place in the Premier Division of LOI, or not, the word spread that a rival League of Ireland club was about to announce the appointment of Shane Keegan as their manager.

“For this news to spread on such a day, let alone the fact that Keegan was under contract to Wexford Youths FC for another year, was grossly unprofessional on the part of Galway United and a blatant breach of League of Ireland rules.

“WYFC shall be lodging a formal complaint with the FAI and seeking adequate compensation.

Shane Keegan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“The club would like to thank Shane Keegan for his five years at the helm culminating in our winning the First Division in 2015 and presiding over our first ever season in the Premier Division.

“The club made huge strides during this period and while deeply unhappy with the manner of Shane’s departure, the club will continue to hold him in high regard, and wish him well.

“We need to move on, and select a new manager as quickly as possible, no time can be wasted as we prepare for the new season in the First Division.

“The Wexford Youths club is now 10 years old, not many of the experts back then thought we’d still be around 10 years later — well, get used to it, we’re here for the long term, and remain determined to show that our social, community project will remain a sustainable one. Forza Youths.”

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Alan Waldron

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