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Dundalk want Cork's Europa League place next season

THE REBELLION against the FAI's decision to give troubled club Cork City more time to settle their financial affairs has started as Dundalk have laid claim to Cork's place in Europe next season.

The ongoing saga of Cork City FC saw another chapter today, as the winding-up order, taken by the Revenue Commissioners over an unpaid tax bill of €107,000, was due to be lifted, once Cork were able to clear up their banking difficulties and pay the money -- due to them for the sale of players Kevin Long and David Meyler to English clubs -- over to the taxman.

The next step is next Monday, the final deadline in a long list of (broken) deadlines for Cork and the consortium planning to take full control from current owner Tom Coughlan to pay their debts, said to be €200,000, and have their affairs in order.

But the extension of the deadline for Cork has angered other clubs and Dundalk, who finished in fifth place in the league last season, feel they should be in Europe instead of third-placed Cork and fourth-placed Derry, who, of course, have been demoted to Division One.

"It is entirely laudable that the FAI are considerate of creditors, but this is a step too far. It is pretty obvious that Cork City do not hold the required tax clearance certificate at the close-off date, and that the rules and regulations are being applied unevenly," Colm Crosson, Dundalk FC communications manager, said.

"We have no wish for any club to be denied a rightful place in the league, and have empathy for Bray Wanderers and their supporters in the current uncertainty.

"In relation to the Europa League, we expect to be nominated as the League of Ireland's third representative and we will be making our feelings known in no uncertain terms to the FAI.

"The additional ambiguity about our initial series of fixtures is an inconvenience for the club and its supporters, although Europa League nomination and the application of fair play are the fundamental issues.

"We expect the FAI and the Independent Club Licensing Committee to do the right thing when eventually the decisions are finally announced."