In Brief: A begging bowl too far for Bohemians
Bohemians have the begging bowl out. The famous old Phibsboro club are in dire financial straits (who isn't?) and have called on their fans, or whoever, to bail them out.
Bohs want people to lend them the cash to see them through to the end of the season and into the next and are prepared to pay a minimum of five per cent per annum until they can repay the loans in full on the sale of Dalymount Park, anticipated to be completed in about seven years.
We're all familiar with the local GAA, soccer or rugby club trying to squeeze a few bob from its members, or the parents of its members, through race nights, quiz nights, sponsored walks, cycles or swims, or just good old-fashioned asking. But those funds usually go to buy kit or equipment or to pay for transport. Bohs are looking for money to pay wages.
From The Stands will be keeping its hard-earned cash under the mattress for a few reasons.
If Bohs can't run their affairs under UEFA's supposedly rigid licensing laws to get to the end of the season with all their outgoings taken care of, then how could an investor expect them to run the club next year with the added burden of having to fork out at least five per cent interest on whatever funds it manages to raise?
But, more importantly, this whole sale of Dalymount Park thing has become a bit of a running gag. While the property market has collapsed, Bohs still seem to think that Dalymount is a valuable asset. They believe that they can sell it to a developer who will make so much profit from building on it that he will also provide a new stadium and still go home happy.
It strikes us that those days are over. Maybe they will return, but would we bet on it? No.
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STACKSTOWN Golf Club has a stake in not one, but two of this weekend's European Ryder Cup team. Well known as the home of Pádraig Harrington, the club can also boast a connection with Rory McIlroy.
Laying a green at his new house, McIlroy employed a consultant to find the best turf and was pointed to the Stackstown nursery, which is regarded as one of the best around.
"It's strictly for the club's own use," said a spokesman, "and we wouldn't have sold it to anyone else, but we got a specific request from Rory and we decided to oblige him."
Meanwhile, the club are dedicating a room in their clubhouse to triple Major winner Harrington, which could become a great tourist attraction. It will contain all the memorabilia of his career, which has been donated by Pádraig and his mother, Breda. It will be officially opened before Christmas.
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THE Carling Cup, no not that one, the Nations version, was launched on Friday amid much talk of recriminations for Ireland's ability to attract the brightest talent from north of the border and even Scotland. But a couple of other things also struck us as noteworthy.
The first was Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington's thoughts when asked was there any chance of the Republic and the North competing as one.
"No" was his nicely straightforward answer, but he followed that with a "I know that's not the answer you want to hear . . ." Actually Nigel, that's exactly the answer most people want to hear -- on both sides of the border.
The other Carling Cup has long been treated with disdain by Premier League clubs and is mostly seen as an opportunity to field second-string sides.
The first round of fixtures for the Carling Nations Cup are set for February 8 and 9 -- slap in the middle of two full Premier League weekends. And Ireland are then down to play Northern Ireland on Monday, May 23, the day after the final round of Premier League games.
Expect a sudden outbreak of hamstring tweaks and other minor ailments.
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Nice to see that Europe's Ryder Cup players think so much of captain Colin Montgomerie that they greeted his request not to tweet until after the weekend with complete and utter . . . er, well . . . contempt actually.
Fergus McDonnell and Seán Ryan