Cork City run out of lives as FAI refuse to grant Premier Division licence
CORK City FC ran out of lives last night as they were officially kicked out of the League of Ireland.
A meeting of the FAI's Independent Licensing Committee reached the unanimous verdict that the application for a Premier Division licence from Cork City Investment FC Limited should be refused.
"Having carefully considered the application and all of the documentation submitted, it was the view of the committee that the club fell seriously short of the criteria required to fulfil a Premier Division licence," read a statement from the FAI.
Earlier, in the High Court, the club appeared to have secured a 24-hour stay of execution when it was confirmed that owner Tom Coughlan had agreed a takeover with the interested consortium of local businessmen and fans who were ready to assume control.
Justice Mary Laffoy postponed a winding-up order until today after counsel for the new group said they had €600,000 ready to cover existing liabilities.
However, the deal was conditional on Cork emerging from last night's meeting with a Premier Division licence. Ultimately, that was a decision that the FAI body could not make, given the amount of difficulties experienced by the Leesiders in the past 12 months, with their inability to meet recent deadlines the final straw.
Bray Wanderers, who were relegated from the top flight, will now be reinstated to the Premier Division, which starts on Friday week. Cork could still have representation in senior football in 2010 after an application for a First Division licence from supporters group FORAS -- which was made speculatively in the event that the club was expelled -- was granted by the FAI, although they face a race against time to establish a club for life in the second tier.
Either way, the loss of Cork City will send reverberations around the troubled domestic game.