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Bray left in limbo

ELEVEN more days before the new League of Ireland season starts and Bray Wanderers still have no idea what division they will be playing in for the 2010 campaign.

And Bray boss Eddie Gormley has again voiced his frustration at the scenario where the transfer window for the new season closes today, but Gormley is unsure if his side will be taking on the big boys in the Premier Division or slumming it in Division One.

Long-suffering Cork City fans, and the local media in Cork who have spent more time covering the club's court cases than football matches in the last 18 months, are facing yet another d-day today.

Firstly, there's a deadline for the club to formally have a winding-up order against them lifted once it's been confirmed to the High Court that Cork did pay the Revenue Commissioners the €107,000 due to them.

And then for the club to settle all of their debts (estimated at €200,000) to football-related creditors like current and former players.


If the on-off takeover of the club does go through today, Cork fans hope that the club will immediately clear their debts to the taxman and the other creditors, get a tax clearance cert from the Revenue Commissioners and then get the nod to carry on playing in the Premier Division.

But as talks surrounding the takeover have stalled so often in the last week, there is no guarantee that the handing-over of the club by Tom Coughlan will proceed.

Late on Friday night, a statement on behalf of the Quintas Group, leading the consortium to take over from Coughlan, said that talks had stalled so they would turn their attention to Plan B: helping fans' group FORAS take charge of the club and compete in the First Division next season with a completely new structure.

That all leaves Bray - who are due to play in the First Division next season but could be back into the top flight in place of Cork - in limbo.

"We still don't know what league we'll be in," said Bray boss Eddie Gormley. "We are human beings and we don't want to see any club go to the wall, but I am manager of Bray Wanderers and I want to compete in the Premier Division.

"The rules are set out and they have to be adhered to. I'll put my faith in the FAI and hope that they'll come up with the right decision. it's crucial that markers are laid down and that it's not acceptable that the rules are not bent.

You have to compliment the FAI for bringing in these rules, but are they going to enforce them? The licencing system has to be put to bed earlier, it should be tied up before the new year period, to stop this sort of situation happening again. To give out the licences as late as they do, it leaves them open to criticism," added Gormley.

He is even more frustrated due to the timing of the FAI final decision on Cork's status for next season: if it's confirmed later today that Bray will be in the Premier, it leaves Gormley with just a few hours to sign up some more players for the more rigourous demands of top flight football.

"I am led to believe that we will take up the Cork City slot if they are not in the Premier, so instead of playing Derry in the First Division, we'd play Dundalk in the Premier," he added.

"It's very difficult because your budget reflects the division you are in, the deadline for signing players is today, so is the decision on Cork, so it doesn't give us a lot of time to sign players."