Wednesday 13 December 2017

Bohemians vote against sale of club

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Members of Bohemians last night voted against putting the club up for sale as it was revealed that Dalymount Park is now believed to be worth less than €10m.

The full extent of the loss of value has been revealed just five years after the Gypsies arranged a deal worth €60m to sell the stadium to Liam Carroll's Danninger company and move to a 10,000 capacity ground in Harristown.

That deal stalled during the property crash and Carroll is now one of NAMA's top ten developers.

Three of the four motions put to the membership were passed as the Bohs board were authorised to pursue the sale of Dalymount Park in an effort to pay off a €4m loan to Zurich bank, repayments for which fall next June, and secure the future of the club.

The stadium is believed to be valued at just €9m the large crowd who gathered for last night's EGM in St Peter's School in Phibsboro were told. The board were given the go-ahead to negotiate their way out of their deal to sell to Carroll and pursue other options.

Developer Paschal Conroy, whose Albion Ltd owns the adjoining Phibsboro Shopping Centre, has first option on the stadium and will be the board's first port of call. But should he not buy, the board have been given permission to seek another purchaser.

A proposal to allow a change of ownership and sell the club was defeated by the members who drew the line at 121-year-old membership structure.

Bohemians are hopeful of being approved for a Premier Division licence after securing funding to take them through the closed season through a members' loan and are hosting a fundraising concert on November 27.

The club have cut their non-playing staff back and the first team squad are all out of contract. The board are expected to meet with manager Pat Fenlon in the coming days to discuss his future.

Irish Independent

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