Sunday 22 April 2018

Cork takeover hits the rocks

THE prospective takeover of Cork City looks set to fall through after the consortium bidding for the club revealed last night that negotiations had stalled.

On Thursday night, the consortium of Michael O'Connell, Peter Gray and supporters' trust FORAS issued a deadline of 12 noon yesterday for a deal with club owner Tom Coughlan to be concluded, but declared pessimism that it would go through.

This was due to uncertainty regarding the club's total level of debt, while there was also doubt over the title of the shares that were to be transferred.

While the noon deadline came and went with no word from either party, both sides were locked in negotiations for most of the afternoon.

In the evening, a statement was released on behalf of the Quintas Group, which is representing the consortium, saying that "while significant progress has been made, a number of outstanding issues remain to be resolved before a deal can be completed".

Just after 9.30pm however, another statement said that the negotiations had stalled and claimed that there had been no meaningful engagement by Coughlan in relation to the bid.

As a result, O'Connell and Gray are now focusing on FORAS's plans to gain a first division licence for next season, playing as Cork City FORAS Co-op.

This new entity would receive a licence only were the existing club to be denied one.

If the takeover fails to go through, Bray Wanderers are likely to play in the Premier Divsion next season.

Meanwhile, Ireland defender Eddie Nolan has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan from Preston until the end of the season.

Owls boss Alan Irvine signed Nolan (21) when he was in charge at Preston in 2008, and the left-back will go straight into the squad for today's home game against Ipswich.

Nolan has won three full caps.

Irish Independent

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