COBH Ramblers have committed their future at St Colman's Park after agreeing on a 99-year lease.
The news comes following extensive negotiations and confirms the FAI’s commitment to supporting the new club in East Cork.
Ramblers' ambition has been highlighted recently by a link-up with English Premier League side Burnley. They are currently, however, in the bottom half of the First Division, along with Cork City.
FAI Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Hill said: “This new lease is the end product of very productive and cordial negotiations between the Association and the football club. We have been impressed by the drive of the new Board at the club and their vision for the future of football in Cobh.
“As an Association we share that determination to improve League of Ireland football for our best players – male and female, adults and underage – and we are delighted that Cobh Ramblers buy into that vision.
“This new 99-year agreement will allow the club to build on their aspirations to establish a football club for the future and we look forward to working with everyone at Cobh Ramblers for many years to come.”
From the Cobh Ramblers perspective, chairman Bill O’Leary commented: “As a new Board at Cobh Ramblers, agreeing a lease for St Colman’s Park was a main priority. We believe this new lease is fair and equitable and it offers the club long-term clarity on rent, puts us in a much stronger position legally and makes us more attractive for investment.
“This deal also allows us to retain the aspiration of taking ownership of the ground in the future, and under the right set of circumstances, should we so choose. I would like to thank the FAI for their willingness to agree a deal and their belief in our vision for Cobh Ramblers.”
Cork-based FAI President Gerry McAnaney added: “As a former player, I am well aware of the ambitious plans that the new board have for Cobh Ramblers and I am delighted that the FAI has now backed those plans with this new lease which allows the club to plan for the future with real confidence.”