CORK City boss John Caulfield has hit out at the promotion of the League of Ireland on the eve of the new season.
Caulfield was in the Aviva Stadium for the launch of the SSE Airtricity League campaign and expressed his disappointment at the lack of TV coverage for last Sunday’s President’s Cup clash at Oriel Park.
City battled back from two down to edge a snowy thriller 4-2 against rivals Dundalk, making it three in-a-row in the preseason competition. However the tie wasn’t screened live, even online, and the highlights weren’t shown on the RTÉ news.
“Everyone in this room are League of Ireland people and are all passionate but I think we need to keep promoting our league,” enthused the Cork City manager.
“We need to be positive about our league. You look at the news last Sunday, there was eight minutes of sports on the nine o’clock news.
“First two and a half were about the GAA, very good; 30 seconds about the women’s GAA. There was a minute and a bit about the ladies rugby. There was two and a half minutes about the Premiership, there was a four-second slide about the President’s Cup and there was another minute and a half about the winter Olympics.
“We have a responsibility to talk about our league and to promote it. A lot of people here work for the national broadcaster, it’s important to talk about our league more.
“It’s a professional league, we do play in Europe and the more I go around different countries and see their standards and facilities the more I look at our league which is incredible. The top teams over here are really at a top level and we need to promote it as much as we can from within.”
After receiving a rapturous applause, the City boss exited stage right where he was subsequently asked to elaborate on the issue by the written press.
“We need more marketing, more advertising but we need more pressure to be put onto the TV companies to give us more coverage,” declared Caulfield.
“My point being about Sunday evening’s news was we’re starting the league, the first game is the President’s Cup and if that was in England there would have been two minutes of the game, we got a four-second slide.
“We need to stand up, there’s more to us than that.”
Cork City will begin their league title defence away to St Patrick’s Athletic on Friday evening and Caulfield believes the title race will be more competitive this year than last.
“Shamrock Rovers will be a major player this year, Derry are going back to the Brandywell, Sligo is showing signs that they are a very serious football club and Waterford have had great investment.”