'Do they think we're cavemen?!' - English clubs accused of disrespecting Ireland by Damien Duff

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Damien Duff
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Former Chelsea winger Damien Duff has accused English football of showing disrespect to Irish teams.
  • Duff slams English clubs
  • Row over loaning players to Ireland
  • Ex-Chelsea man now managing Shelbourne

WHAT HAPPENED? Duff has managed Irish side Shelbourne since 2021 and he launched an impassioned rant at the treatment of League of Ireland clubs by their counterparts in the English league system, especially when it comes to loaning players.

WHAT THEY SAID: “If we’re getting a player, their sports scientist rings up asking, 'Do we have GPS, those things that go on the players’ backs?'” Duff told the Irish Examiner.

“Do they think we’re cavemen over here? That’s the stuff you’re dealing with. I think we’re disrespected in terms of what we offer. It’s ‘ah Ireland, why would you loan players to Ireland?’ That’s the UK club mentality."

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: Duff made his name in England with Blackburn, Chelsea and Fulham, before finishing his career in his homeland – and he says he's no intention of returning to the UK as he carves out a career as a manager in Ireland.

He added: “People will say ‘ah, here’s Duffer again harking on’ and I’m only a blow-in here 18 months but I’ll still fight tooth and nail for this league. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon because I’m going to live in Ireland. I’m not just fighting for Shelbourne, it’s the Premier and First Divisions and everything below. Someone needs to do it.” 


Damien Duff Melbourne City A-League 2014-15

General view of TV camera League of Ireland Celtic 31072011

WHAT NEXT? Duff's Shelbourne host St Patrick's Athletic in their next fixture on Friday night.