Pat Devlin airs grievances with Bray Wanderers and Alan Mathews’ decision to take over

Former manager claims leading players have been lost because of “turmoil” at Carlisle Grounds

Former Bray Wanderers manager Pat Devlin at a press conference in Ballsbridge, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Inpho

Former Bray Wanderers manager Pat Devlin at a press conference in Ballsbridge, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: Inpho

Wed, Jan 15, 2014, 01:00

Former Bray Wanderers manager Pat Devlin has claimed

leading players have been lost in the close season because of the “turmoil” at the Carlisle Grounds that has surrounded his protracted departure. He expressed disappointment that one of his former players, Alan Mathews, agreed to take the job when, he maintains, he and the club’s board still might have patched things up.

The 60 year-old took the unusual step yesterday of holding a press conference to speak about the circumstances of his departure from the club although, he insisted, there is much that he cannot speak about quite yet.

Still, he was scathing about the way he feels he was treated since the end of last season and slightly contemptuous, it seemed, of Mathews’ decision to accept the opportunity to replace him.

“I’ve had a magnificent time (at the club) but you expect to be treated properly,” he says, “and we (he and his backroom team, all of whom have departed as well) weren’t treated properly. This was planned,” he says, clearly suggesting there was a co-ordinated scheme by board members and other officials at the club to get him out, There was clearly some motive; some idea but I’ve no idea why.”

He says that much of the tension between the two sides in the dispute centred on a plan by the club’s board and other backers to place a greater emphasis on the community aspect of its operations but suggests that the issue of money currently owed to members of his staff, including some of the medical team was being completely overlooked. “I think it’s a great idea,” he insisted, “but it didn’t sort out the issue of the current situation.”

Asked about the decision by Mathews and another of his former players, Barry O’Connor, to take over, he says: “I just think that they should have probably checked in with me but I know what goes on; I think everybody knows what goes on: Football is football.”

Jason Byrne and Marty Waters, he says meanwhile, didn’t want to leave “but they knew the way things were going”.

Devlin says having been involved with the club for so long he still wishes it well but he hopes what happened may be aired at a shareholders’ meeting. It could prove to be a lively occasion for some of the club officials with whom he has fallen out over just about everything he says. However, for now they prefer not to comment publicly.