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Desperate Bohs to put Dalymount up for sale

SELLING the home of Irish football to stay alive as a football club is about the only option for Bohemians as the cash-strapped club fight for survival.

The club have summoned their members to an EGM in Phibsboro tonight to try and find a way out of the morass.

And selling Dalymount Park on the open market appears to be the only way of salvation for a club which needs to pay back a loan of €4m to Zurich Bank within months or face the real prospect of being put out of business.

Four motions will be put before the Bohs members at tonight's meeting and it's thought that the fourth option -- the sale of the club "in its entirety, including its grounds" will be roundly defeated as members try to keep ownership of the club in the hands of the membership structure which has served the Gypsies since their foundation in 1890.

So the most likely outcome is a move to put Dalymount Park up for sale, which ideally would allow Bohs to clear their debts and find a new home as a debt-free club, but only if the Gypsies can clear some legal hurdles first.

That would, of course, see Dalymount Park, which has played host to some of the greatest names in the history of football such as Franz Beckenbauer, George Best, Ruud Gullit and Zinedine Zidane, lost to football.

And the fear for Bohs is that no one knows how much the site would fetch on the open market, but it will certainly be a fraction of the €60m which was the price tag when Bohs concluded a deal to sell the site to Liam Carroll's Danninger company in 2006.

Bohs have limped along for the past 12 months and it was seen as a minor miracle that the club survived the 2011 season, but they only did so with the benefit of a loans scheme from members and other interested parties, who will get a return on their investment with a 'first charge' if and when Dalymount is sold.

Last week, the Bohs board met manager Pat Fenlon -- whose players from last season are all out of contract now, with most of them expected to move on -- and promised another meeting with the manager once tonight's EGM was out of the way.

However, Bohs will find it hard to make any form of long-term planning due to the extent of the club debts.