Uncertainty still surrounds Connor’s position at United

Galway United continue to face uncertain and difficult times as the list of consecutive defeats mount and problems off the park grow.

The current impasse between Galway United’s management committee, which has no confidence in manager Sean Connor, and its board of directors, which wishes Connor to continue, will not be solved, however, until the two protagonists can arrange a meeting.

Ronan Coleman, secretary of the management committee which now runs the day-to-day affairs of United, says it is unlikely the two bodies can get together until next week due to board members being away on holidays during the League of Ireland week’s break.

“It is a difficult situation because we have taken on responsibility of the day-to-day running of the club and fundraising initiatives, but it is the board of directors who have responsbility for the manager’s contract.”

It is understood Connor’s contract was signed by the former CEO Nick Leeson, who having resigned from the post, is now a member of the board.

Last Friday evening brought the latest tale of woe as another Galway defeat against Drogheda United, a record 19th on the trot, was followed by the management committee’s statement which announced it had unanimously agreed to a motion of no confidence in Connor.

“In any sport, if someone had lost 19 games on the trot, they would be gone. We acknowledge that he has been operating in difficult circumstances and we have been forced to let players go, but ultimately the manager is responsible - he is a professional.”

Coleman says the committee is now waiting until it can arrange a meeting with the board, which he hopes will be next week, to “discuss this current impasse”.

The management committee's statement which was issued in the aftermath of United’s 1-0 loss to Drogheda, read: "The Galway United management committee consists of loyal and committed supporters of the club. Our responsibility is to ensure any actions we take are in the best interest of the football club. Following a management committee meeting on Tuesday July 19 a unanimous decision was taken to endorse a motion of no confidence in Sean Connor continuing as manager of Galway United Football Club.

"In the interests of giving our players every support to secure a result in Drogheda on Friday, we have deferred issuing this statement until after the match.

"The responsibility now rests with the board of directors to take the appropriate action in this matter. The management committee would like to thank the Galway public for their continuing support. We assure our players, supporters and sponsors that we remain committed to the quest to ensure the future of our club."

Galway United's players, however, are believed to have discussed the matter following the Drogheda reversal and have unanimously backed Connor, who is likely to be in charge when Derry City visit Terryland Park on Friday, August 5.

At the outset of the campaign Galway's crowds were satisfactory, but, the recent Sligo Rovers encounter fixture aside, the attendances have been dwindling. Ultimately it is thought Galway will need to raise in the region of €45,000 to see out a season that has brought considerable pain.

Forced to adopt an all-local policy with a squad of amateurs with little experience of life at League of Ireland level has not aided the Galwegian cause. Since January, when the FAI refused Galway's application for a premier division licence, everybody involved at the club has been forced to adapt to a testing environment.

Galway's future as a League of Ireland outfit is in jeopardy. Relegation to the first division would be viewed as catastrophic. Galway's squad at present does not appear to be equipped with the necessary ability to avoid that dreaded scenario and in the remainder of the campaign there is no underestimating the importance of the leadership and direction that Paul Sinnott, Stephen Walsh, Alan Murphy, Bobby Ryan and Mikey Gilmore must provide. At present they are the main players in a particularly stressed Galway team that is miserably low on confidence.

It will not get any easier as the autumn approaches and the fact that Derry, who can be potent when the mood strikes, are next on the agenda, only serves to highlight the daunting task Galway face.

With confusion and uncertainty surrounding Connor's position – he did not want to discuss the management committee's statement in Drogheda - August will be revealing as Galway's mission to somehow retain top flight status enters a critical phase.

 

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