Vinny Perth has pleaded with Dundalk’s US-based owners to “pick the right people” when handing over control of the club as a takeover for the County Louth outfit edges closer.
On the field, Dundalk took a step towards Premier Division safety with Friday’s win over Waterford. Perth insists that a top-four finish and European qualification is still possible, with a key battle in the Louth derby against Drogheda United on Thursday.
But off-field issues will be central for Dundalk this week as owners Peak6 are close to agreeing a sale of the club. One consortium, based in Belfast, were the front-runners to win control of the club as they claimed to have in place the cash needed to complete the deal.
But a local consortium, led by tech firm Statsports with the involvement of Dundalk’s former co-owner Andy Connolly, is also still in the race, with Peak6 likely to make a call before the weekend.
Perth says he is not publicly backing any of the rival groups but he has made clear his wish to see the club retain a community base after two years of turmoil which has led to fan anger, evident in protests at their most recent home game.
“It’s not my place to back anybody. I’m just a pawn here in the stuff. I have pleaded with the club that they give the right people – if they are going to let it change hands – the opportunity to rebuild this great club again,” Perth says.
“My discussions with the club at the moment are that they keep the heart of the community in this club, whether they stay or go, that they keep what Dundalk is all about – the community.
“They need to understand the people that if the club is going to change hands that they pick the right people who have the DNA of Dundalk at their heart. I’ve pleaded with them and there’s no doubt there are people interested in our club. I don’t think that’s a secret but at the same time I’ve made a real plea with them to support this club and this town in the right decision that they make.
“I’m saying that the DNA in Dundalk was all about the community and I believe that was still there when Peak6 took over. What we had done as a community, I think that was ignored and it was forgotten about. The visits to schools and all of that stuff, that has to be front and centre of what we do.
“We’re a small club and a small town and I think it’s important that we get back to being a community club first and foremost, if we have success on the pitch that’s great,” added Perth, aware that a win against Drogheda this week could, potentially, put his side one point off fourth place with two games left.