John Caulfield has also achieved his number one off-field goal for Cork City

The League of Ireland title won, Cork City are also about to reach the one off-field goal John Caulfield has prioritised more than any other; paying their players 52 weeks of the year, writes Larry Ryan.

With more money sloshing in clubs’ coffers than for some time, the Cork City manager hopes the league isn’t about to see a repeat of the boom years when clubs paid players beyond their means.

But City are about to take what Caulfield believes to be the most significant financial step in his time at the club.

“I think clubs are much more shrewd now,” he said today at City’s training ground in Bishopstown.

“The way we’re going now and rightly so, that our players signed for next season will go onto 52 week a year contracts

“That’s the first time since the good days. When we took over it was 35 weeks.

“I’ve been pushing all the way through that we can get to a stage where we can pay players 52 weeks per year. Morally, it’s immoral not to be paying them… this is their employment, this is their livelihood.

“To think that for three months at the end of the season, they get nothing, it’s wrong. That’s why football in this country needs to be taken seriously. And be serious. Treat people with respect.

“Thankfully we are going that way from December 1 this year. It’s signed off by the board. The accountants.”

The new policy will apply to every player retained or signed by the club for next season.

And Caulfield says it’s possible due to increased sponsorship and money coming into the club via prize money and other revenue streams.

“We’ll be able to manage it with the structure we have and the finance coming through.

“It means our budgets will be tighter but at least in the bigger picture, players can now sign two-year or three-year deals and know that if they go for a mortgage or a loan, they’e a proper job.

“These places were not entertaining you because you don’t have a full time contract.

“If you’re asking me about goals off the pitch, it’s probably the biggest goal. I’m adamant about player welfare and being treated with respect. The tendency in this country has been that players are being treated a bit… a disrespectful thing.

“They train every day, six days per week. I say you don’t need time off. This is their job. We want players to come down here. If you want to play social football go somewhere else.

If you want to win trophies you train every day, you live down here and we do things right. And this to me is the biggest thing the club has done. I admire the board for signing it off. And FORAS for agreeing it.

“Let’s me frank, when do you ever go to a job interview and someone says you get 200 quid a week.

“You go to a job interview and you hear the salary is 25 grand, 30 or whatever. We need to get away from this nonsense. That’s what I’m talking about. Higher standards. We need to push for higher standards. Promote the league more in this way rather than fighting with each other.”

“You’re paid a salary over a year. In the big world of employment you deal with salaries and that’s the way we’re going.”

It won’t prevent players driving a hard bargain and making sure the weekly intake is as much as before.

Caulfield said: “Don’t get me wrong, Mark McNulty will be still calculating it in his head. Down to the cents."

KEYWORDS: Cork City, Soccer


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