Cork City chairman Declan Carey: Foras vote to bring Dermot Usher in was right decision

'I think the time is right to do it because if we did go into next season without any private investment under fan ownership it would be a very difficult season for everyone'
Cork City chairman Declan Carey: Foras vote to bring Dermot Usher in was right decision

Foras members Dave Alton, JP Clifford, Conor Hallahan and Declan Carey. Picture: Larry Cummins

AFTER Foras members voted in favour of Dermot Usher purchasing Cork City FC, chairman Declan Carey believed that it was the right time for a change in ownership of the club.

City are about to embark on their first premier division campaign in three years, and Carey sees Usher’s takeover as the only feasible way for City to compete with the very best in the country.

“For me, was I excited to be a chairman of a club competing in the premier division against the top clubs in the country? One hundred percent.

“But I would have been selfish to just think about that and needed to put the best interests of the club first.

“Look at the clubs we are competing with — the likes of Shamrock Rovers, Dundalk, St Pat’s, Derry — they all have financial backing significantly more than Foras can offer.

“That’s why the board ratified this. 

It was a difficult decision obviously, but we have done our homework on Dermot Usher.

“I think the time is right to do it because if we did go into next season without any private investment under fan ownership we would be in a very difficult position, and it would be a very difficult season for everyone.

“That’s not to say that we will go straight back down, but I don’t think it will be a comfortable ride. I think we owe it to ourselves to put the best possible product we can on the pitch.

“Especially with the buzz that is around the club at the moment, and getting back into the Premier Division, I think it is the perfect time to hand over the financial reins to someone who can push us to the next level rather than go into survival mode.”

 New owner Dermot Usher. Picture: Larry Cummins
New owner Dermot Usher. Picture: Larry Cummins

I was delighted to see the Foras members vote in favour of the takeover. Although I’m sure that it was difficult for those who did, considering what has happened in the past with previous private owners of the club, and the hard work and dedication each member has shown since consuming the club in 2010, I believe the right outcome has prevailed.

RISK

Yes, it would have been great for the Foras members to own a club in the Premier Division, but if they want to be competing in Europe and winning major honours without financial risk, then the takeover had to happen.

City are one of the biggest clubs in the country, just surviving wouldn’t have satisfied supporters.

Of course, there are people who said they would be content with City just being a Premier Division club, but that patience would have worn thin, and it would have been only a matter of time before attendance dropped at Turner’s Cross were the team looming around the relegation places. City supporters in the past have shown that they won’t accept the team loitering around mid-table.

Tommy Dunne was dismissed as manager in 2013 with the club sitting seventh in the league, with the Dub having guided City to promotion less than two years previous.

There is no guarantee that Usher taking control of the club will bring success, but it does give City a better chance of it.

The introduction of the minimum wage of €430 per week for professional players over the age of 20 for the forthcoming season would not have been welcomed news for City in November.

I doubt that was the start-off figure that the club would have been offering players when it came to negotiating contracts, because of their limited budget, meaning City were at risk of losing a number of players.

However, Usher’s investment will mean a better budget for the club therefore they won’t be overly concerned about that minimum wage of €430 per week.

Of course, there was always the option to sign amateur forms but what player wants to sign an amateur form? There isn’t security in it.

Foras deserve so much credit for what the work and effort they have put into the club.

I was part of that team that represented Foras against Derry City back in 2010, and it’s unbelievable to think what they have achieved as owners of the club over the past 12 years.

I will be forever grateful for what they did to help me have a career in football, and I’m sure many former players will echo my gratitude to Foras.
But football keeps evolving, and in order to be the best club in the country again, Usher’s takeover had to happen.

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