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Dalymount in line to benefit from Euro 2020 bid joy

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FAI Chief Executive John Delaney

FAI Chief Executive John Delaney

SPORTSFILE

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THE FAI are aiming to capitalise on their co-hosting role in Euro 2020 by using it to give impetus to moves to a redevelopment of Dalymount Park.

CEO John Delaney revealed the plans last night as the Irish delegation in Switzerland celebrated the news that the Aviva Stadium will stage four matches in a unique event.

Ireland will receive a grant from UEFA as a host, while the government will absorb transport costs, and Delaney says that the stakeholders want to run projects in tandem that will leave a legacy.

That has brought the plight of Irish football's old home to the top of the agenda.

Dalymount is in a state of disrepair and was due to be sold by Bohemians to property developer Liam Carroll until the deal collapsed in 2008 because of the legal implications of a different arrangement the troubled club had with another company.

Delaney is looking at a plan that would entail a groundshare between cash-strapped Bohemians and Shelbourne.

"We'll be looking for some form of legacy out of it," said Delaney, "I would have an eye on Dalymount Park and I would hope we could achieve something there. I would love if we could get it out of debt and be redeveloped for 2020. I've already spoken to government and city council about that."

“First of all we’ve got to deal collectively with the debt that Bohemians have with their particular bank (Zurich) and I’d be hoping something could be resolved in terms of a commitment from all parties.

“I’d like to see Dalymount house two League of Ireland clubs. Bohemians and possibly Shelbourne as well.

“It’s been a dream of mine for many, many years and I think out of any hosting of a major tournament, there should be a legacy.

“Dalymount Park, the soul of Irish football, being redeveloped and kept in football is something that personally I’m hugely committed to.”

In 2011, Bohemians agreed a deal with Zurich to restructure their debt which granted them a charge on the property. The club have been exploring viable alternatives to Dalymount with cost of redevelopment a factor.

Plans to restore the venue would give a shot in the arm to the game in the northside of the city with Shels’ Tolka Park base having an uncertain shelf life.

Irish Independent