Cork City board face tough questions about finances at general meeting

Cork City board face tough questions about finances at general meeting
Cork City players Mark McNulty, Conor McCormack, Dan Casey and Sean McLoughlin. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

CORK CITY chairman Declan Carey is expecting some very tough questions at Thursday night's Foras general meeting, but he insists that such accountability is welcome.

The supporters’ trust meets at the Metropole Hotel at 7.30pm (registration 7pm), with members reminded that they must be fully paid up to attend.

Carey accepts that there will be a stiff line of questioning from the floor but he is inviting robust challenges.

The financial affairs of the club are expected to come under heavy question tonight with the club reported to be in debt to the tune of a six figure sum.

“That’s what we want, really,” he says.

“We want members to hold us accountable, they elected us to oversee the club and we fully them to ask difficult questions and to want to know as many details as they can.

“That’s our goal as a board, to be as transparent and open with members as possible.”

City’s financial situation is likely to drawn the greatest attention and Carey doesn’t try to hide the fact that the club is operating in a different landscape for the coming season to that which pertained in previous year.

“We’ve gone from the Champions League to now, where we’ve no Europe,” he says.

“It doesn’t take a genius to work out that we’ve had to cut back and that’s not just across the playing budget.

“We had no cutbacks from 2014-18, it was always on an upward trajectory and then stayed stable from 2018 to 2019, even though we dropped from Champions League to Europa.

“Now we have to take stock of what we have and start rebuilding again.

“Sixty or seventy percent of the squad will change and off the pitch (general manager) Paul Wycherley has left and we wish him well.

“He has done a great job and got us through some tough times.

“Crowds have been down and we’ve had to pull in finance from other avenues.

“‘Win A Gaff’ was very successful and Seán McLoughlin had to be sold but we’ve got here to the end of the season and we’ve survived in the Premier Division, which is an awful thing to say, but hopefully we’ll improve for next year.”

Wycherley is unlikely to be directly replaced, with his duties split across those of the club’s other employees.

In terms of playing staff, City currently have just nine players confirmed for 2020.

Head coach Neale Fenn is currently in negotiations with goalkeeper Tadhg Ryan, Conor McCormack and Conor McCarthy with a view to signing them to new deals though any or all of them may yet depart, with coach Liam Kearney’s future also being discussed.

A possible arrival is Derry City attacker Conor Davis, however links with St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper Brendan Clarke are thought to be wide of the mark.

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