Saturday 25 February 2017

Cork existence in balance as FAI's takeover deadline looms

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Cork City Chairman Tom Coughlan awaiting the FAI's independent licensing committee decision on their Premier Division fate.
Cork City Chairman Tom Coughlan awaiting the FAI's independent licensing committee decision on their Premier Division fate.

Revenue Commissioners, but their very existence remains in extreme doubt, with the FAI's independent licensing committee set to make a decision on their Premier Division fate.

The licensing committee delayed their verdict on Cork's fate until the conclusion of legal matters in the High Court today -- it is anticipated that proceedings will be struck out, with Cork understood to have paid the taxman the outstanding figure of €107,000.

Alas, when they were granted that stay of execution a week ago, there was a certain amount of confidence that a takeover of the troubled Leesiders, currently owned by Tom Coughlan, could be completed.

However, negotiations with interested businessmen Peter Gray and Michael O'Connell, along with financial group Quintas and backed by Cork's fans' body FORAS, failed to progress as anticipated when the extent of the club's debt emerged.

The last statement from Quintas on Friday said they were now concentrating on supporting a bid from FORAS for a First Division licence to form a new club in the event of the Premier Division side being thrown out for their indiscretions.

As Turner's Cross is owned by the Munster Football Association, any new entity would have access to the stadium.

With the new league season set to start on Friday week, the FAI desperately need to provide clarity later today, having given Cork every chance to get their house in order. Bray Wanderers are on standby to take the vacant spot in the top flight if Cork are punished.

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