Monday 20 May 2019

Limerick players prepare for crisis talks on future

In demand: Brendan Clarke. Photo: Sportsfile
In demand: Brendan Clarke. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The options available to players at struggling Limerick should become clearer after meetings today which will address a cash crisis at the club.

Representatives of the PFA Ireland are due to meet with the Shannonsiders' squad ahead of discussions with club officials.

Limerick's players were not paid on Friday as scheduled but they decided fulfil their League of Ireland Premier Division fixture with Bohemians which ended in a 1-1 draw.

It is expected that they will receive monies owed for May this week.

But the reality is that serious cost-cutting measures will have to be implemented and that will mean the departure of several players - some of whom have already been approached by other clubs.

They are free to discuss transfers as Limerick need to cut their wage bill in order to ease the burden.

Goalkeeper Brendan Clarke will be in demand, while St Patrick's Athletic are considering a move for Conor Clifford. Highly-rated midfielder Cian Coleman's availability has also alerted rival bosses.

Owner Pat O'Sullivan admitted before the start of the season that new investment was required as he was unable to keep propping the club up.

The club recently hosted a meeting for Limerick people based in Dublin which was targeted at attracting fresh backing.

But the inability to find that support has left the club in a perilous position. Crowds have fallen at Markets Field this term and another significant expense is the cost of renting the venue which is owned by the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnership (LEDP).

The bottom line is that the club have recognised that its current status is unsustainable and a reversion to a part-time training schedule is on the cards.

Higher-earning professionals are set to depart as part of that process. Wage cuts are another option that could be placed on the table in the search for a solution.

Limerick are second bottom of the Premier Division table with 15 matches remaining - seven points ahead of Bray Wanderers.

If they were to finish up in that position, Tommy Barrett's side would face into a promotion-relegation play-off.

Irish Independent

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