Limerick slash playing budget after chairman cuts funding
Limerick FC will operate off one of the smallest budgets in the League of Ireland's Premier Division next season after their chairman confirmed that he will be implementing a series of cuts.
Having generously financed the club over the last six years, Pat O'Sullivan issued a statement yesterday outlining his policy change. Belt-tightening will be the new watchword at a club who were one of the league's highest spenders since returning to the top flight two years ago.
"The O'Sullivan family and their company, the club's main sponsor Galtee Fuels, have made it clear that they can no longer continue to fund the club to the level that they have in the past number of seasons," wrote O'Sullivan in his statement.
"My involvement began when Limerick FC called a public meeting on July 12, 2009.
"This meeting was to try to raise funds to keep the club alive as the then owner of senior soccer had given written instructions that unless financial support from the people of Limerick was given, then the club was to be closed down the following day.
"At this meeting I was the only person that stated that I was willing to give financial support.
"With the reduction of the significant annual sponsorship that has been provided by Galtee Fuels and the O'Sullivan family over the past six years, this requires that the club must now learn to live within its means."
For manager Martin Russell the implications are serious. Having declined at least two job offers before accepting a role with Limerick, Russell now has to cut his cloth to suit, a skill he perfected during his four years in charge of UCD.
However, part of Limerick's attraction was their capacity to compete in the spending stakes. That strength is now gone. Russell, however, is not gone. He is willing to work within the new framework.
Similarly, O'Sullivan is also sticking around. "I am committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Limerick senior soccer, which brings many social benefits to our community," he wrote.
Elsewhere, Mark Quigley, the 2012 PFAI Player of the Year, is wanted by Irish League club Portadown.
Eoin Doyle, is hoping his £850,000 move from League One Chesterfield to Championship side Cardiff City, will lead to an international call-up.
"It would be a dream for me to play for my country and if playing here at this great club gives me that opportunity, then I'll try my best to make it happen," said the 26-year-old Dubliner.
"I am looking forward to the challenge here. The first test will be to get into the side."