Love Island winner Finn Tapp is expected to see out his playing contract with Oxford City, it has emerged.
The National League South side confirmed that the central defender went AWOL last month to travel to South Africa, in order to feature on the first winter series of the ITV reality show.
Tapp won the sixth series with fellow contestant Paige Turley – Lewis Capaldi’s ex-girlfriend – on Sunday, and the pair decided to split the £50,000 prize. Despite their desire to move to Manchester, the club’s commercial director insists that the star will return to action.
Mick Livesey, Oxford City’s commercial director, told BBC Radio Oxford:
“He was [in breach of his contract]but I think you need to take a pragmatic sort of view: A 20-year-old lad, he’s offered all this reality TV stuff. He has a contract, so he has to finish the contract he has with the football club.”
Livesey also stated that the club would insert clauses into new players’ contracts concerning future appearances on television.
“As a football club, we wish Finn all the best and I can understand everything that’s going on but we have a duty of care for Finn and we’ve got a duty of care for the football club. I can assure you that all new players we sign from now on, we will be putting clauses in their contracts. I think we’re going to have to.”
Tapp had signed for Oxford City last summer after being released by League One outfit MK Dons. Tapp had scored the winner against Wealdstone on January 4, only weeks before heading to the Love Island villa. The club currently sit in 12th position, having only won 1 game since Finn departed for Cape Town, and Livesey revealed that the 20-year-old’s absence has impacted the club’s season: “This hasn’t been ideal. It is probably disruptive to the club and results.”
In a statement to the PA news agency, Livesey added: “We understand that at 20 years of age this was a huge opportunity for him, we most certainly understand why he took it.”
“Finn does have a contract with the club, from our point of view we are excited and looking forward to him returning.”
“The football club would like to congratulate Finn Tapp on winning Love Island.”
Time will tell if the Love Island winner swaps his playing career for a raft of new sponsors that will come his way, or whether he continues to score winners in the sixth tier of English football.