Cork City have parted company with manager John Caulfield in the wake of a poor start to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season.
Caulfield, who took charge at the end of 2013, led City to a league and FA Cup double in 2017 and also guided the club to the cup in 2016. In addition, the club recorded four second-placed finishes during his tenure and lost two more FAI Cup finals.
However, the current campaign has been difficult. Having lost their opening two league games to St Patrick’s Athletic and Waterford, City seemed to have settled as they went four games undefeated but in eight subsequent matches they have drawn three and lost five, leaving them in eighth place in the ten-team table.
As a result, the board of management of Foras, the supporters’ trust which runs City, took the decision at its meeting on Tuesday night to remove him from the role.
Earlier that day, at City’s weekly press conference, Caulfield remained confident that he could turn things around.
“At the end of the day, the bottom line is that we have worked incredibly hard, the management team have had five unbelievable years, all of a sudden are they not good enough?
“The goalposts changed, we changed the scenario within the club at the start of the year, we didn’t want to invest as much, so things have changed and we have to work within that.
“Does that say that the management team that has led and brought players through and competed and won trophies and made money for the club over the last five years, all of a sudden have become bad? I don’t think so.
“I think we’ve fantastic people, highly qualified people, all working extremely hard, but we are going through a difficult time.
“It’s up to us to rally the lads, if their confidence is down, you have to get it up and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
A statement this morning from Cork City FC said:
"Cork City FC wish to confirm that John Caulfield will step down from his position as first team manager with immediate effect. The club and John Caulfield came to a mutual agreement today at Bishopstown Stadium."
Speaking on this announcement, Cork City FC chairman Declan Carey said: “Everyone at the club is hugely grateful for everything John Caulfield has done for the club, the city and Cork. He holds every record as a player and a manager. He leaves the club with all of our best wishes and we look forward to welcoming John to Turner’s Cross in the future.” John Caulfield first took charge of Cork City in the 2014 season, steering the club to a 2nd place position in the league and back to European competition for the first time since 2009. He went on to two further 2nd place finishes, winning an FAI Cup in 2016 and then winning a league and FAI Cup double in 2017. The club has also held the Munster Senior Cup since 2016 and won three successive President’s Cups in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Speaking today, John said: “I feel the time is right to part ways with the club. I would like to thank the players and backroom team for the huge success brought to the club since 2014. I wish everyone the best for the rest of the 2019 season and look forward to attending games as a supporter in the stands.”
The club will appoint an interim manager for the foreseeable future, and then begin a thorough recruitment process for a new first team manager. A further statement will follow in the coming days.