Ripple effect of the crisis
Football in Cork
The FORAS supporters group have secured a First Division licence for their new club, called Cork City FORAS Co-op, but must now decide whether to go it alone (with a budget of roughly €3,000 per week) or allow the Quintas-led local consortium get involved after they expressed an interest in playing a part in the future. They will meet with the FAI tomorrow, with League Director Fran Gavin confident the new entity will be ready to compete when the new season kicks off on Friday week.
He has burned all bridges in Malta, where he was managing until he joined Cork in acrimonious circumstances, so it's unemployment for now. "I'll pick myself up, and I'm available for work anywhere. I can do other things," he said.
The Cork City FC players
The former players were owed close to €170,000 in wages but will now see none of that cash. They are now free agents (although Faz Kuduzovic has joined Galway United and Dan Connor has joined St Patrick's Athletic) and yesterday met FORAS to explore the possibility of joining the new entity, although they would have to accept significant wage cuts.
The Europa League spot
Dundalk, who finished fourth last year, are currently enrolling Ian Foster in a UEFA 'A' licence course as he is short the required badges to manage in European competition. They are also discussing plans for the installation of new seats into Oriel Park in order to comply with Europa League criteria. Otherwise, Dalymount Park is among the venues being considered.
As of last night, the Wicklow club were awaiting official confirmation that they will replace Cork in the Premier Division, at which point Eddie Gormley will be seeking extra funds from his chairman to sign some experienced, out-of-work players or even a loanee or two -- if the FAI can grant them a once-off transfer deadline extension (from last Monday).
The new season
Eight of the 10 teams in the top flight will be either from Dublin or within an hour's drive of the capital, with Sligo Rovers and Galway United the only participants from outside Leinster -- a huge concern for a league which is already suffering from the suspicion that familiarity is breeding contempt.
Tom Coughlan & Cork City FC Investments
The company has been wound up, although Coughlan's legal team and the owner himself spoke in vague terms about appealing the licensing decision and heading down the Supreme Court route to fight the winding up order. Coughlan has reportedly been told by friends to let it go.