Updated: 22/02/12 : 11:54:57
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Sligo Rovers board expected to resign

SLIGO Rovers chairman Michael Toolan remains under pressure to resign in the wake of the club’s stormy open meeting at the Clarion Hotel on Monday night.

An Emergency General Meeting (EGM) will take place in two weeks time where it is expected the entire board will be replaced.

Bit O'Red supporters criticised the decision by Toolan and board members to waive a demand for compensation from Accrington Stanley for manager Paul Cook, who was under contract with Sligo when he left.

The decision was taken, it seems, on the basis that the move was about to fall through because of the demand for a figure believed to be in the region of €25,000 and there was a belief that relations with Cook, already strained, would become impossible if he was forced to stay.

Paul Cook has called on the stakeholders at the club to unite for the common good and put an end to public disputes.

The new Accrington Stanley manager, who spent nearly five years at Sligo, said in a statement posted on the club’s website, that “forums and constant in house fighting only go to damage and weaken the football club.

“I have watched since the end of last season in my opinion constant fighting at management committee level and this has taken the club where we are today,” said Cook.

“Sligo Rovers is part of heartbeat of the town of Sligo and of the county and indeed the North West. And indeed a strong Sligo Rovers Football Club is vital to the community. Don’t do our fighting in public there is no winner in this.

“Don’t criticise and witch hunt people as people are only trying their best for the club. Being on the management committee is very difficult and at the last AGM not many people came forward willing to get involved.”

While some fans at Monday's meeting were calling for the reinstatement of former chairman Dermot Kelly, Cook insists it is “vital” former treasurer Vincent Nally should be involved in the club again. “He has the knowledge, respect and expertise to help take the club forward.”

Cook, who began his tenure at Accrington with a 4-0 defeat last weekend, also sought to clarify the compensation issue.

“I never, ever applied for a job at another club while I was the manager of Sligo Rovers and I never asked for the compensation to be dropped by Accrington Stanley.

“I don’t think my departure was handled the best by either myself or the management committee but that is now history. I only want to see the club go on and prosper.”

It is hoped Sligo’s hunt for a manager will be concluded before the first game of the season against Shelbourne on March 2nd.

The process of finding Cook’s replacement continues, with the short list believed to include Damien Richardson,  Johnny McDonnell, Brian Little, Cook’s assistant Gerry Carr, Johnny McDonnell and Mike Newell.

Former manager Willie McStay, who won three trophies with the Bit O’Red in the early 90s, could also be in contention.