Updated: 19/04/12 : 10:21:00Printable Version
Following Monday night's Setanta Cup game at Seaview, Sligo Rovers boss Ian Baraclough hit out at the Crusaders for not having a doctor present at the match.
Sligo’s Jason McGuinness injured his shoulder during Crusaders’ 2-0 first leg win after a challenge by Timmy Adamson, which caused the centre-back to suffer shallow breathing.
Former QPR player Baraclough said: “In the current climate, with a player dying in Italy (Livorno's Piermario Morosini) at the weekend and (the) Fabrice Muamba (incident) a few weeks ago, it is shocking that there was no doctor at the game.
“We have to make the game as safe as possible and I think that everything that has happened in the last few weeks should have tightened things up.”
The Crusaders chairman responded: “Under our licensing rules you must have either a doctor or an ambulance on hand at all times. We don't have a club doctor, so instead we pay for an ambulance to be at all of our games.
“The ambulance was in attendance at the Setanta Cup semi-final and the medic worked on Jason McGuinness once it was brought to their attention that oxygen was required.”
Bell believes that Crusaders are one of the best equipped clubs in Northern Ireland to deal with players who sustain serious injuries.
“Some people complain about the club licensing system but I think this is an example of how it has helped make our grounds safer,” he said.
“We are actually one of the few clubs that has a defibrillator and all our stewards are trained first aiders.
“We pay £180 per match for an ambulance to attend, which is a lot for an Irish League club, but it's something we don't mind paying for as the players’ health has to be a priority.
“You have to be prepared to deal with all sorts of injuries and I'm proud to say we are,” added Bell.
Thankfully McGuinness' injury turned out to be not as serious as first suspected and he should be available for the return leg on Monday night.