Preston's initial offer of €199,000 was not enough for City to claim their Premier Division licence

Preston's initial offer of €199,000 was not enough for City to claim their Premier Division licence
Preston North End's Alan BrowneMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

AN initial €199,000 deal for Cork City to surrender sell-on clauses for Alan Browne and Seán Maguire was not deemed sufficient by the FAI to meet financial requirements relating to a Premier Division licence.

As a result, City had to re-approach Preston North End and come to an agreement worth €450,000, including first refusal on a takeover bid for Preston owner Trevor Hemmings.

Figures have emerged since Sunday’s special general meeting of City supporters’ trust Foras, reported by offtheball.com. While an initial deal of €199,000 had been agreed for the sell-on clauses, the FAI were still refusing to grant a licence and so the City board had to go back to Preston.

2017; PFA Ireland EA SPORTS Players Player of the Year Winner Sean Maguire and partner Claudia Rose Long
2017; PFA Ireland EA SPORTS Players Player of the Year Winner Sean Maguire and partner Claudia Rose Long

Uncertainty surrounding Irish football was a factor in City’s bank refusing to refinance the club’s loan, while the FAI’s licensing has become more stringent since the episode which led to Limerick being unable to field in the current league season.

It is expected that any takeover deal will take months rather than weeks, due to the detail involved in converting from a members-owned co-operative to a private company. City representatives will meet personnel from Grovemore Ltd, Hemming’s company, this week.

The Foras AGM is scheduled for the end of March, with elections to the board of management proceeding as normal. 

A special meeting will be held after that where members will vote on a takeover deal, with a simple 50 percent plus one vote majority needed.

Having lost 3-0 at Dundalk on Monday night, City are back in Premier Division action on Friday when they take on Finn Harps at Turner’s Cross. 

Cork City head coach Neale FennMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Cork City head coach Neale FennMandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

City manager Neale Fenn expects to have Deshane Dalling back from suspension while there is also good news on the injury front.

“I believe he’s available,” he said.

“Cian Coleman is a possibility, he’s responded really, really well. Conor Davis is out and Bargary is a maybe as well, so we’re starting to get a few more bodies back.”

Looking back at the Dundalk game, Fenn feels that a more adventurous approach might have stood to City, but he opted for caution after the 6-0 defeat to Shamrock Rovers on Friday.

“I would have possibly gone for it a little bit more,” he said, “but, with the result on Friday, I felt we needed to get a little bit of respectability back, for a better word, in the squad and set up and not be a soft touch.
“We conceded after 15 minutes anyway, so had we gone there and had a bit of a go like we did at Rovers, been a bit more expansive, a bit more attacking, would have got a better result?

“It’s going to be difficult anyway. If we’re going to lose 3-0, I’d rather we did it having a go.”

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