Friday 20 October 2017

Football club owner says disrepute ban 'could be disastrous'

Tim Healy

A 12-month ban by the FAI on the owner of Cork City FC for bringing the game into disrepute could be disastrous for the viability of the club, it was claimed in the High Court yesterday.

Tom Coughlan (right) claims he was denied fair procedures when an FAI disciplinary committee refused to adjourn a meeting to consider a disrepute charge against him arising out of his actions in connection with the club during the 2009 season.

Mr Coughlan, Summerville, Eglantine Park, Douglas, Cork has brought judicial review proceedings aimed at quashing the disciplinary committee's finding of December 17 last that he had brought the game into disrepute. The committee imposed a 12-month ban from all football-related activities and a fine of €5,000 on him.

The charges against Mr Coughlan include allegations that he failed to pay employees on time, failed to meet his obligations to revenue, and bounced cheques to referees and revenue.

The FAI has opposed the action and denied that the committee acted unfairly.

Yesterday counsel for Mr Coughlan said his client did not accept that he had brought the game into disrepute.

Devastated

In an affidavit, Mr Coughlan said the ban on him would have disastrous effects on his efforts to secure additional funding for the club, and his ability to negotiate on behalf of the club had been devastated.

The FAI denied that Mr Coughlan was denied fair procedures and said the committee acted fairly in the circumstances.

The hearing is expected to conclude today.

Irish Independent

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