MEMBERS of Foras, the supporters’ trust which owns Cork City, were informed on Sunday that the club was just hours away from going out of business.
At a specially convened meeting at the Metropole Hotel, the Foras board furnished members with details of recent developments, including the sale of sell-on clauses relating to Seán Maguire and Alan Browne (below) and a potential takeover.
The deal to surrender the sell-on clauses to Preston North End was necessitated by the need for City to secure income so as to secure a Premier Division licence and if this had not materialised, the club would have been unable to continue. Attempts to generate investment by local businesses had proven unsuccessful.
It has also emerged that Preston owner Trevor Hemmings is keen to purchase the club – as well as Turner’s Cross from the Munster Football Association. Members were told that this would be a deal by Hemmings in a personal capacity rather than a takeover by Preston and City becoming a feeder club.
Strong opinions were expressed by members, both for and against a sale, with concerns expressed regarding Hemmings’ long-term interest as well as the involvement of his advisor, Peter Ridsdale. It is expected that another members’ meetings will be held in the near future to vote on any takeover.
City chairman Declan Carey was unable to comment on the content of the meeting but did say: “We had a positive meeting with members, updating them on what had happened over the winter.
“There was positive feedback and we’re all looking forward to a big crowd coming to Turner’s Cross to cheers us on against Finn Harps at Turner’s Cross on Friday.”
Before that, City travel to Oriel Park to take on Dundalk tonight (Monday) with manager Neale Fenn seeking to lift the team after the 6-0 loss to Shamrock Rovers on Friday night.
“What we’re going to have to do is talk about the positives,” he said.
“We were good in the first half, I felt we broke well and restricted them to half-chances in the first half-hour.
“The problem is against teams like this that it takes 90 minutes’ concentration, if you switch off, with their quality, you’ll be punished.
“There was one move in the second half where they played so many one-twos around us, they just have so many quality players. It’s no use only concentrating for half an hour because, if you switch off, they’ll score.”