FORMER Cork City owner Brian Lennox believes that a takeover by Trevor Hemmings is the only realistic long-term viable option for the club, given the lack of support from the city’s business community.
On Sunday, members of Foras, the supporters’ trust which owns and runs City, were told at a special meeting that the club’s existence had been under threat until a deal was struck with Preston North End to forfeit sell-on clauses relating to former players Alan Browne and Seán Maguire, both of whom now play for the English side.
That deal secured a Premier Division licence for City and it subsequently emerged that Preston’s owner Trevor Hemmings had an interest in buying the club – with the purchase of Turner’s Cross by Hemmings also a strong possibility.
Hemmings owns Trabolgan Holiday Village in east Cork and also has a stud farm in Kanturk.
Lennox is a member of Foras and remains the only person to have availed of the trust’s patronage scheme, which sought to generate funding from commercial entities.
At Sunday’s meeting, Foras members were informed of attempts to directly contact businesspeople in Cork in a bid to entice investment but these had failed.
With no uptake on that front from businesses, Lennox feels that the sale of the club is in its best interests in terms of future survival.
“Like any fan of Cork City, I want the club to do well and survive and prosper,” he said.
“A club run by members is what you’d like to have but, unfortunately, when you don’t have the backing of a large section of the business community in Cork, it’s always going to be difficult.
“To ensure that the club has a positive future and is able to continue and grow, I think that a takeover is the only option.”
On the pitch, City are in action away to Dundalk on Monday night.