WHILE Grovemoor Ltd’s takeover of Cork City will not be happening in the immediate future, relations between the parties remain strong.
Last week, City – owned and run by supporters’ trust Foras – secured a licence for the 2020 SSE Airtricity League First Division season.
Though the trust’s membership voted last October to approve the Trevor Hemmings-owned Grovemoor’s call-option to purchase the club, the Foras licence application was lodged as a fail-safe.
Earlier in 2020, the trust had run into financial difficulties but is on a sounder footing now.
In any case, as part of the licence application, Grovemoor gave an undertaking to the FAI that it can provide assistance if any troubles were to be encountered.
The board of management of Foras continues to run the club and there is no outside influence from Grovemoor.
Should Grovemoor wish to surrender its call-option, it would have to inform Foras in writing but it is believed that it remains committed to City.
Should there be any developments with regard to a change in ownership, it’s likely that this would happen during the licensing period for the 2022 season.
The use of Turner’s Cross on a long-term lease is part of Grovemoor’s plan and the company remains in contact with the ground’s owners, the Munster Football Association, with regard to coming to an agreement as well as potential upgrades to the stadium.
Meanwhile, the famine of fixtures for Ireland’s U19s will persist after Uefa decided to cancel this year’s European Championships.
Tom Mohan’s side have been without a game since November 2019 due to Covid-19. Hopes were high that the Government exemption for elite sport would allow them to host the mini-qualifying group against Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Estonia next month in Longford but Uefa have halted the schedule for the second successive season.
“Uefa’s member associations were consulted and supported the decision,” said the European governing body.
“Although it is unfortunate that no youth competitions can take place in the current season, the health and safety of young athletes must be prioritised in the current circumstances.”
The FAI are trying to arrange a pair of U21 friendlies during the international window at the end of March.
Jim Crawford’s side do not begin their quest to reach the 2023 finals until September but plan to have warm-up games, most likely in the UK.