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Cork make Cup final pull-out threat as FAI target all of gate and TV cash

CORK CITY are threatening to pull out of the FAI Cup final and it is also expected their opponents, Longford Town, will follow the Leesiders’ lead in a row over cup final royalties.

A quickly-prepared club statement was issued last night prior to their final league match at home to Bohemians.

In it Cork City revealed that they are "scheduled to meet with the Football Association of Ireland on Wednesday morning to evaluate the costs associated with the running of the final".

Traditionally, competing finalists split the revenue from attendance and TV money after running costs are deducted. The FAI take 40%, a figure which is confirmed in one of two competition rules, Rule 24, cited by Cork City in conjunction with the statement.

The other rule, Rule 33, states that the FAI "Council shall have power to alter the FAI Cup rules, but in no case shall they do so until after the final tie in any competition has been played".

Cork City indicated they are committed to pushing the FAI’s hand on the issue. But the FAI made their reply in a statement last night.

"At a meeting in Portmarnock on Wednesday, October 10, between the FAI and representatives of the four semi-finalists — Bohemians, Cork City, Longford Town and UCD — the financial package for the finalists was outlined in detail and accepted by the clubs.

"The FAI proposed that the winner of the competition would be guaranteed a minimum payment of €100,000 and the runners-up a minimum payment of €75,000. It was explained that this sum would cover prize-money, TV revenue and a share of the surplus with the FAI making up the shortfall, if any, to guarantee the agreed payment.

"These guaranteed payments represent a substantial increase on the monies paid to the 2006 finalists where the winners received €45,000 in prize money and television revenue and the runners-up got €39,000. The two clubs also shared a €37,000 gate surplus. The FAI completely refutes any suggestion that it is in breach of the rules of the competition and is expressly disappointed at the actions of the Cork City Board on this matter."