Cork face axe over missed payments
THE failure of Cork City to comply with the schedule of payments agreed with the Revenue Commissioners has cast further doubts on the club's ability to meet the requirements of the FAI's licensing committee. Failure to do so by January 29 would see the club thrown out of the league.
Hailed as a saviour just over 12 months ago, chairman Tom Coughlan is increasingly seen as an obstacle to the club's salvation as the problems mount under his regime.
Apart from the Revenue Commissioners, winding-up petitions have been sought by former manager Alan Mathews and former player Gareth Farrelly for monies owed. Mathews and Farrelly have parked these orders temporarily and have put their claims before the FAI licensing committee.
Until all these debts are cleared, plus wages owed to players and general staff, the FAI cannot issue a licence.
Coughlan's failure to train personnel in the FIFA transfer matching system (TMS) has also held up the transfer of centre-back Kevin Long to Burnley. This move, which is worth an initial €100,000 to Cork City, should have gone through on January 1. The FAI are holding a course on TMS tomorrow at which Cork are expected to be represented, as well as the new Derry City club.
Meanwhile, two investors who offered to take over the club some months ago remain in the background. They are prepared to pay all the club's outstanding debts.
According to the provisional accounts, which the club presented to the FAI at their budget submission last Friday, Cork City made a small loss on last season. The club's fully audited accounts must be submitted by January 29.
New manager Roddy Collins has been talking to the players who are under contract and approaching other players, even though he can't be sure which division, if any, of the league they will be in. The squad are due to start pre-season training tomorrow.
"The intention is to remain full-time," said club PRO Eanna Buckley, "although on a significantly reduced budget."
The appointment of Collins presents Cork City with another problem. Having qualified for the Europa League, under UEFA rules, their manager must have a Pro Licence, but Collins only has an 'A' Licence. His assistant, Tommy Dunne, does have the Pro Licence, but UEFA don't allow assistants to be parachuted into the manager's role for these games.
If Cork City fail to secure a licence to operate in the league, their place in the Europa League would then go to Sligo Rovers, whose manager Paul Cook has the Pro Licence.