Football

'They Suspended Me Again For A Tweet: Two Emojis They Said Referred To The Club'

'They Suspended Me Again For A Tweet: Two Emojis They Said Referred To The Club'

Jack Byrne has spoken about the circumstances which saw him leave Oldham in August 2018.

The Ireland midfielder had been signed permanently by the club in January of that year following a successful loan spell from Wigan but his time there turned sour.

During the summer, then Oldham manager Frank Bunn said that Byrne had been suspended as he had "breached a couple of discipline rules".

Speaking to Richie Sadlier on Second Captains' Player's Chair podcast, Byrne elaborated regarding what was a turbulent time in his career.

"They basically said that I deliberately injured someone in training," said Byrne.

They suspended me for two weeks.

They were referring to a tackle, just an ordinary tackle. In training, a player got injured. I continued the session, the session went on as if nothing happened.

It was just a normal, ordinary everyday challenge in training where somebody... there was no malice in it.

I've gone into the office and they've said, 'Listen, we're going to suspend you for two weeks' and I've gone, 'What's going on here?'

They said, 'You meant the tackle, didn't you?' I said, 'No, I didn't mean it. It was a tackle, like'. They said, 'Listen, we're suspending you for two weeks'.

In that meeting, Oldham told Byrne that he could leave during the suspension if another club made an offer for him. Byrne subsequently contacted the PFA's Richard Jobson regarding his situation.

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The midfielder believes that the club, which had been relegated to League Two at the end of the 2017/18 season, wanted him off the books as they could not afford his wages.

"Two weeks go by and I come back in training with the kids. It was horrible. I spent a month there, still talking to clubs and seeing what I could do. All this going on in the background doesn't help as well.

"I get a letter in the door and they suspended me again for a tweet: two emojis that they said referred to the club. I'm going, 'Hang on a minute. What's going on here?' I was at a funfair with my sister and her kid. I had emojis up of a clown and they said it was very close to a public announcement by the club. They said that it was aimed at the club.

"Another two weeks go by and you're looking for options."

With the English transfer window closed, Byrne moved to Kilmarnock in the Scottish Premiership. Though, that spell lasted until early December when he joined Shamrock Rovers.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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