Wednesday 18 October 2017

Fans' group given three weeks to save Dundalk

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

POTENTIAL buyers have been given until the end of the month to submit a bid to save Dundalk FC.

Fans of the fourth most successful club in League of Ireland history have launched a 'Save our Club' initiative designed to keep the Lilywhites in business until the end of the season, but their long-term future remains in question after owner Gerry Matthews made his long-held intention to sell official by issuing a statement on the club's website.

The DFC Community Trust, a supporters' group, has been involved in negotiations with Matthews and intends to submit a proposal this week.

Matthews has given would-be investors the choice of buying the long-term lease on Oriel Park with or without the the Youth Development Centre (YDC) -- a recently developed community centre -- and Hiney Park, a four-acre site with a grass pitch.

The FAI and PFAI have been involved in discussions with the club and the Trust this week as they attempt to ensure that a second Premier Division club does not go out of business this season-- Monaghan United withdrew last month.

Dundalk have already deferred one week of players' wages after recently revealing a drop of €70,000 in gate receipts. They have also let a number of off-field staff go.

Fans met last night to discuss fundraising options. They need to raise more than €60,000 to cover the day-to-day costs and the estimated wage bill of €4,000 per week.

They will hold a fundraiser at the YDC on Saturday night and will be hopeful of a bumper crowd for Friday's visit of Shamrock Rovers.

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