Dermot Ushers in a new era for Cork City Football Club and promises to bring success to the city

“We believe that in the next season ahead we’re looking to have probably at least four of the academy players getting signed and brought through into the first team on professional contracts." - Dermot Usher
Dermot Ushers in a new era for Cork City Football Club and promises to bring success to the city

Dave Alton, Dermot Usher and Eanna Buckley at the special meeting. Members of FORAS attended a Special General Meeting at the Clayton Hotel.

A new era has begun at Turner’s Cross as FORAS members voted overwhelmingly in favour of selling Cork City to Kildare based businessman Dermot Usher.

This follows a vote by shareholders on Sunday afternoon at the Clayton Hotel, which passed by 86%.

It also ends a quick-fire process than began in October 2022, when Grovemoor Limited announced they would not be taking over Cork City.

That was communicated in a statement by FORAS, and they also said they were actively seeking investment into the club.

Mr Usher confirmed that he was approached by the club and that was when he became interested in taking over Cork City.

“I had a few conversations with Éanna Buckley, the COO, and then we went to speak to the board,” he said.

“Numbers were put together and everyone was pretty happy with my budgeted numbers. 

"They were basically a hybrid of what the board had projected and there are three areas that I’m looking to significantly increase on budget.

“One was player salaries, two was corporate sponsorship, and three was the ability to sell on players in the next season, which is something that maybe Cork have been a little compromised by a little bit over the last couple of years because of people realising they need more money. 

"They were probably used and abused by some of the deals that were coming along so I think that is going to change straight away.

 Dermot Usher addressed the meeting of members of FORAS at a Special General Meeting at the Clayton Hotel. ECHO/Irish Examiner. Pic: Larry Cummins
Dermot Usher addressed the meeting of members of FORAS at a Special General Meeting at the Clayton Hotel. ECHO/Irish Examiner. Pic: Larry Cummins

“People will know that we want value for the players that we are bringing in and we won’t stand in the way of any player that wants to move to the UK or Europe.” 

With this in mind, youth promotion and development is central to Mr Usher’s vision for Cork City.

“We believe that in the next season ahead we’re looking to have probably at least four of the academy players getting signed and brought through into the first team on professional contracts.

“That is what we’re hoping will happen and that is what we want to happen going forward.” 

As this vision takes shape, Mr Usher is delighted that FORAS will still exist alongside Cork City.

The new owner has agreed to meet the organisation’s Board of Management quarterly and the shareholders once a year.

He also actively worked with FORAS before the vote, instead of going to Grovemoor Limited, who retain a call option.

“I have to embrace it and I want to embrace it because at the end of the day I could have done a deal with Grovemoor directly myself if I wanted to, because they are the one who hold the cards with regard to releasing the club out,” he explained.

“I chose not to do that. I chose to go down the road that I went and to bring everyone with me. 

"For me to say this is who I am, you see the colour of my eyes, you’ll see the colour of the money next year with regard to what is being invested into the club, and hopefully people will see the infrastructure getting developed."

Mr Usher has looking at the facilities inside Turner’s Cross Stadium near the top of his list of objectives for 2023.

“I look at the club from a fans point of view, because that is what I am, I’m a fan first and foremost,” he said.

“The facilities, be it the toilets, the loudspeaker, or the food offering, all those things need to be looked at and they will be looked at over the next couple of weeks.” 

Whatever tomorrow brings, the club’s new owner knows he is off to a great start with such a large majority of shareholders voting in favour of his takeover.

“I think that the overwhelming vote that was received sets me off in a good start with Cork City and the fans,” he added.

“I think people have bought in to what I’ve said so far to date, and I hope next year to drive that on and get people on the bus. 

"Let’s get success on the pitch and off the pitch.” 

As for the current Board of Management, chairman Declan Carey is delighted that the motion passed by such a large margin.

“We’ve been advocating for this vote to go through, and it is great to finally see this passed and it is great to see this pass by such a large number,” he said.

“There’s a great future in sight for Cork City FC and we’re delighted with the news.”

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