Wednesday 26 April 2017

Leeson mulls over quitting cash-strapped Galway United

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

NICK Leeson is considering his position as chief executive of Galway United with the Tribesmen on the brink of financial meltdown.

The club have debts in the region of €900,000, and of most immediate concern are bills totalling €70,000 which are owed to 2010 players and staff, the Revenue Commissioners and landlords Galway and District League, who own Terryland Park.

They need to reach agreement with creditors by the end of the month in order to secure a Premier Division licence for next year.

Fans' group Galway United Supporters Trust (GUST) are paying the wages of manager Sean Connor and one player under contract and have called an urgent meeting for tomorrow night. GUST are in discussions with a second player still under contract, while a spokesman confirmed the group have been in discussions with the PFAI and the club's landlords.

If the club can reach common ground with creditors, the deadline for payment will be extended until December 21.

Leeson, who achieved worldwide notoriety as the man who brought down Barings Bank, took over as chief executive in 2007, having already served as commercial manager and general manager. He says he will make a decision within seven days.

"I haven't had any real day-to-day involvement since the end of the season," he said. "My opinion of what needs to be done differs with some members of the board and other interested parties."

The club have suffered from dwindling attendances in the last two seasons and Connor needed a play-off to avoid relegation to the First Division.

GUST have indicated that while their long-term aim is to take ownership of the club, they will not pursue that issue until the club's future is secured.

Irish Independent

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