Cork City takeover is still on the table despite ongoing delays

Club chairman Declan Carey explained that they are at the 'mercy' of Grovemoor
Cork City takeover is still on the table despite ongoing delays

Supporters after an SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game between Cork City and Dundalk at Turner's Cross. Picture: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

CORK CITY chairman Declan Carey understands the fans’ frustration regarding the takeover of the club.

FORAS members agreed to sell the club to Grovemoor Ltd back in October 2020 but the company is yet to exercise their call-option to purchase the club. Speaking on The Other 3 Amigos Podcast, Carey explained that the club are working on an outcome to the takeover:

“Grovemoor have expressed to us they would need more time. It’s unbelievably frustrating. I’ll say that. We are at the mercy of Grovemoor and their representatives.

“We do have to wait for them to get back to us with certain details but our relationship with them is positive, I can reassure the fans and FORAS members of that. It’s still a positive situation.

They are still willing to help us in some shape or form and they are still committed to facilitating the takeover when the time is right.

“I’m not going to mention it, but it’s a very complex situation they are under at the moment but hopefully things do come true and they follow through.

“But if they don’t; we’re still here and we are in a very great and stable position and that is thanks to Grovemoor as well. I keep saying that and I’m not just saying that because they might listen to this podcast tomorrow and say ‘I hope now he said something positive about us’.

“At the end of the day, that’s the truth. I can’t stress again the situation [when the club almost ceased to exist] we were in two years ago. They made that money come up in the final hour. The wave of emotion that that gave us all is something we will never forget.

“Hopefully things pick up and I’m confident a date (for the call-option to buy the club) will be sorted out.

“I fully understand the frustration of the City fans. I’m frustrated myself but again, I was in that room two years ago and I’m willing to give them that extra time that they need to get this sorted out and I think they deserve it.”

Carey was also asked about comments made by former Cork City manager John Caulfield in his book ‘Rebel Heart’ in which the Galway United manager seemed to criticise the City chairman over their working relationship together with Carey particularly highlighting being referred to as a “young board” as insulting.

Galway United manager John Caulfield. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Galway United manager John Caulfield. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

“There were a lot of key details omitted. I think it was three or four days after that AGM when everyone was elected in. I brought John in to meet the board and everyone shook hands and stayed for a few minutes.

“Then I had a one-to-one meeting with him a few days after that. We had a good meeting. We got a few things out on the table that concerned me to be honest about how the relationship might go going forward. Some of the presumptions that John would have had about the relationship that exists between chairman and manager which I didn’t necessarily agree with that he might have been accustomed to for the last couple of years.

I was interested in transparency and full disclosure of everything between the manager and the full board. That was the way I wanted to do things.

“This young board stuff; in all fairness, I’ve worked in Amazon coming up to 11 years now. It’s insulting to Gar [Garrett Fleming, club secretary] who is an entrepreneur in Cork for many many years.

“There was a lot of experienced business men on that board.

“Conor (Hallahan, club treasurer) the work he has done to put in processes and procedures, and financial compliance, and the audit work that he has done there as well. We have changed auditors completely which is a huge task as well.

“Again we didn’t just take the easy road ‘let’s just stay with the same auditor lads, that’s the handy one, let’s go down that road’ we make sure everything is done properly.

“I could go on all day with the strengths that the board has and to just dismiss it as if we are a bunch of young fellas, is very insulting,” Carey added.

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