THE Munster Football Association has reiterated its commitment to keeping League of Ireland football at Turner’s Cross, despite the decision of Grovemoor Ltd not to proceed with a takeover of Cork City at the present time.
Grovemoor were granted a call-option on the purchase of City in October, following a vote of the members of Foras, the supporters’ trust which has controlled the club since 2010.
However, on Thursday it was revealed that the company had been unable to come to an agreement with the MFA with regard to a long-term lease on Turner’s Cross and so the transfer of ownership will not be taking place.
Foras had submitted a licence application for the 2021 SSE Airtricity League First Division season and it is likely that a Foras-owned City will compete in the second tier on an amateur basis.
In a statement announcing the Grovemoor decision, City made reference to the possibility of playing home games at a venue other than Turner’s Cross – for what would be the first time since the 1995-96 season – if reduced rent cannot be negotiated.
“We may seek to negotiate reduced rates with the MFA for Turner’s Cross in line with our budget, which if unsuccessful will result in us exploring alternative venues for playing behind-closed-doors for next season.
“The board will not be making further comment at this time but will send a full update to our members on our plans, for Tuesday, December 22.”
Similarly, the MFA’s statement late on Thursday night acknowledged the Grovemoor development but expressed the hope that league football can continue at Turner’s Cross.
"The Munster Football Association remains committed to the future of League of Ireland football at Turner’s Cross and we are available to discuss this with all interested parties.
“The Munster Football Association will be making no further comment at this time.”