AFTER THE halcyon days of the Alan Fox era and the subsequent downturn in the club's fortunes, Dundalk FC faced a real crisis as the 1982-83 season reached the half-way stage.
Consequently a meeting was called early in January, 1983 at a number of local businessmen guaranteed the club's bank for a total of £12,000 and a new Board of Directors was formed.
The guarantee was set against the club's debt of £7,000 with the remainder going towards the cost of running the club.
The men who guaranteed the loan were publican, Malachy O'Reilly, hotelier, Olver Quinn, club President, Peadar Halpin, insurance broker and publican, Enda McGuill, electrician, Evan Henry, outgoing director, Tommy McEvoy, poulterer, Ted Kieran, builder, Kevin McGuinness, businessman, Paddy McCourt, television dealer, Jack McCann, restaurant owner, Charles McCann, butcher, Jim Kerr, builder, Enda Kelly, health club owner, Dee O'Kane, accountant, Jim Kerr, fruit importer, Neil McCann, coachbuilder, Tommy McArdle, hotelier, Brian Quinn, travel agent, Matt McGuill, businessman, Gerry McKeever, Dublin businessman, Jimmy O'Meara, travel agent, Hugh McKenna and Pat Kirk from Carlingford.
Outgoing chairman, Joe Larkin and the new Board of Directors surprisingly elected Dee O'Kane as their new chairman.
A prominent businessman and owner of a successful health club, few, if any considered Mr. O'Kane to have a passionate interest in soccer although he was a keen supporter over the years.
Mr. O'Kane revealed afterwards that most of his own career in football was in gaelic when he won a Leinster MFC medal with Louth and in rugby when he won a Towns
The new Board of Directors consisted of Chairman, Dee O'Kane, Secretary, Paddy McCourt, and Directors Enda McGuill, Tommy McEvoy, Des Casey, Jim Malone, Charles McCann, Oliver Quinn, Jim Kerr, Kevin McGuinness, and Joe Larkin.
The aim of the new Board of Directors was to strengthen the side to avoid finishing bottom of the League and thus having to apply for re-election and to have a good run in the Cup.
To achieve this the Board indicated that they would be seeking to recruit a new player-manager and a major priority for the Board was that the new player-manager should live in Dundalk, with the new chairman adding 'I always felt that Dundalk shouldn't have the nose of the team in Dundalk and the tail in Dublin.
'We need the whole team based in Dundalk'.