'I played 400 times for football club before they dumped me while injured'

Aaron Doran's knee operation was paid for with donations by fellow footballers, managers and fans.

A footballer plying his trade in the Highlands with Inverness Caledonian Thistle says the club terminated his contract while he was awaiting knee surgery.

Aaron Doran, who played almost 400 matches for Caley, has criticised the “unacceptable manner” in which former players and fans have been treated since the club was relegated from the Scottish Championship.

The Irish winger’s knee operation was paid for with donations by fellow footballers, managers and fans after he sustained the injury in a match against Raith Rovers three months ago.

Fans rallied round a fundraising call from former team-mate Shane Sutherland to pay for the operation after the Inverness club allegedly refused to foot the medical bill. 

Aaron Doran.STV News

The out-of-contract player says he only found out he was being released from the club through an email.

He said: “I thought when I left, the club might do something nice for me, but definitely not this.

“I haven’t had any contact from the club, nobody at the club has told me that I am being released. I obviously found out when I got the email so that gave me a little bit of closure but I have discussed it with no-one; not the manager, nobody.”

Doran was just 19 when he joined Inverness and helped the club to Scottish Cup victory in 2015.

The club’s recent relegation to League One has resulted in the chairman and chief executive both stepping down after fans were outraged by plans to move their training base 140 miles away to Fife in a bid to cut costs.   

Doran said: “I got injured three months ago now, and it could have been resolved at the time. I would be on my feet, I could work and get a job, I still would have had three months of wages to come and I would have got rehab at the club because I was under contract.

“But for them to lie, and string me along and drag it out, I am in a worse position.”

“The club are asking people to come out and buy season tickets and they are not giving any communication of what’s happening at the club.

“They haven’t told them who has left, who is being retained, it’s probably the only club in Britain that have done that. So no-one knows what’s going on, how can they expect people to get behind them and support the club?”

Doran says he feels he still has some years yet to play once he’s back to full fitness.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle have been approached for comment.

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