Dundalk head coach Vinny Perth has hit out at Derry City's decision to announce the re-signing of Patrick McEleney within minutes of his side’s Europa Conference League victory over Newtown AFC this evening - branding the Candystripes’ statement as "disgraceful".
The full-time whistle hadn’t long sounded at Oriel Park following the Lilywhites 4-0 first leg win over their Welsh opponents when Derry released a statement confirming McEleney would return to his hometown club at the end of the season having signed a pre-contract deal.
The statement added that Ruaidhri Higgins' side hadn’t given up hope of securing the services of the 28-year-old in the current transfer window but said "no agreement on that has been reached as yet."
Reacting to the news, Perth accused City of lacking respect.
"I think it’s a complete and utter lack of respect for this football club," he said.
"The wording of it is disgraceful and it’s trying to unsettle this football team and I won’t let anyone unsettle the football team that I’m working with. I just think it’s completely disrespectful.
"The people in Derry are good people but I’m just shocked by it and I thought particularly the manager would have known better. He has done very well out of this football club for a long time."
McEleney - who made 223 appearances for Derry between 2010 and 2015 - has agreed a deal to return to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium until the end of the 2023 season.
It will bring to an end his five-and-a-half season spell at Oriel Park which included a brief stint in England with Oldham Athletic.
During his time with Dundalk, McEleney won three league titles, two FAI Cups, two EA Sports Cups and featured in two Europa League group stage campaigns.