Vinny Perth has appealed to Dundalk supporters to stand by the club in the wake of his dismissal from the manager’s job on Thursday evening.
A large number of fans have expressed anger at the decision to axe the 44-year-old with some considering various forms of protest as a result.
However, speaking to The Argus on Sunday evening, Perth said it was important that everyone stuck together.
“Owners and boards come and go but the real custodians of a club are the supporters. I understand the frustrations of the supporters at the moment but I just hope they stick by the club,” he said.
“I hear things like people pulling out of the Patreon scheme but that doesn’t represent the people of Dundalk by doing stuff like that because that Patreon scheme is driven by Gavin McLaughlin. It’s his brainchild. It’s designed to protect the club long-term.
“I just hope that the supporters back the team at the moment and give them the support they need. The players deserve it. They need to stick by the club. That’s what Dundalk has always been brilliant for.”
Perth said a moment with the fans was his stand out highlight from his time at Oriel Park and thanked them for their support.
“It was never really captured or caught on camera but my favourite moment in the eight and a half years was not lifting the trophy last year in front of the main stand, it was jumping into The Shed and celebrating with them after that. It was a great moment because all the cameras and the focus was on the trophy ceremony but I spent about a minute jumping up and down in The Shed and it’s probably still my favourite memory.
“Now them people need to stick by the club. I understand there’s frustrations but it’s so important that the good people of the town stick by the club. They can still achieve a lot of goals this year.”
Perth said he would be taking time out, admitting that he had yet to fully process the recent tragic deaths of club groundsman Harry Taaffe or his brother-in-law David McArdle, but he said he hoped to be back in Oriel Park one day to that those who had played such a big part in his life since late 2012.
“From a personal point of view I need to switch off for a while. I’ve had two major deaths in my life and I probably need to take time to grieve and let my family grieve but in time, hopefully post-Covid, hopefully I can thank people in person for all the help that they’ve given me.
“I’ll look back on those eight and a half years with nothing but fond memories.
“I appreciate the support I’ve received in the last few days but what I really want is for people to stick by the club and support the hard work. Remember people like Gavin McLaughlin, Ailish Kelly and Martin Connolly and support all the hard work they do.
“The club will still be there no matter what happens. Dundalk will live on forever so stick with it and back the club.”
Speaking on RTÉ on Friday night, Perth said he expected to be sacked following the side’s 3-0 defeat to NK Celje in Hungary on Wednesday.
“It’s certainly not a surprise to me that the decision was made. It was inevitable. It wasn’t a real shock.
“I had a brief discussion with the chairman last night. It’s been a difficult time for the club on and off the pitch for a number of months.
“There have been things in the background that haven’t been good enough. Ultimately, we haven’t been good enough on the pitch.
“There’s no doubt there was a difference of opinion on where we are and where we need to move forward. We have a difference of opinion. I have to respect that.
“The club have decided to go in a different direction. We’re comfortable with that. That’s where we’ve ended up.
“People will say ultimately the decision is down to losing in the Champions League. It’s not. It’s a bigger decision than that. That’s fine.”
He said he was proud to have been part of that success and the four title wins as assistant boss under Stephen Kenny.
“What Dundalk have achieved in the last eight years is incredible,” he said.
“Yes, we were a penalty kick away from complete dominance eight games ago. That’s all. From that point of view, it’s disappointing.
“But the club have been phenomenal and I’m very proud of my association with the club.
“Ultimately, I think LOI is better because of what’s happened at Dundalk over the last eight years. We changed Irish football as a group.”
Perth denied reports of tension between him and first-team coach John Gill, saying their relationship was ‘very strong.’
“People will throw mud and if they throw enough of it, it will stick,” he said.
“There’s no doubt there was a difference of opinion with the club.
“On Wednesday night, I went out with a very clear mind what I thought the right team was in the Champions League. I don’t think ultimately that’s why I lost the job.”