Another reprieve for City

The High Court has given the new owners of Cork City FC until lunchtime tomorrow to pay a debt of €160,000 to the Revenue Commissioners or the club will be wound up.

Today at the High Court Ms Justice Mary Laffoy made an order winding up Cork City Investment FC, Ltd and order that its directors file a statement of affairs.

However on hearing that an agreement to sell the club had been reached and that the new owners had €600,000 available to discharge all liabilities due to Revenue the judge decided to put a stay on that order until tomorrow afternoon.

Revenue had brought proceedings to wind up the club over an outstanding bill for VAT, PAYE and PRSI. The original demand was for €107,000. However since that demand was made the court heard that total amount due to revenue has risen to €163,000.

The Judge was told by Ross Gorman BL that at 3pm today his client, McGuire Desmond Nominees Ltd, had entered into an agreement to buy the club from Mr Tom Coughlan.

Counsel, who told the court that €600,000 was available in a solicitors account applied for a stay on the winding up order. This was to see if the club could securing a licence from the FAI that would allow it participate in competitions. Without the licence the club would be "worth nothing," counsel added.

The Judge rejected an application for the matter to be adjourned, and had earlier told the parties that she wanted to bring an end to the matter.

Last week the Judge was told the troubled League of Ireland side had the funds to discharge a debt of €107,653 owed to Revenue but was unable to do so because its bank account has been frozen.

The judge directed that some €158,000 due to the club from the sale of players Kevin Long to Burnley, and the cashing in of David Myler's sell-on clause which was included as part of his transfer to Sunderland in 2008, be lodged into its bank account with Allied Irish Bank from which sum the Revenue is to be paid the money owed to it, the judge directed.

However yesterday the court was told that a businessman Mr Stephen O'Keeffe of Windsor, Ovens, Cork as a result of a loan given to the club, had purchased the right to the transfer fee in respect of Kevin Long and was owed €100,000 of the monies due to the club.

The court heard from Rory Mulcahy that Mr O'Keffee became concerned after reading media reports that the money due from Burnley was to be paid to the Revenue.

Dermott Cahill Bl for Revenue said that Revenue had received the money it was owed from the club from England last week however it was now accepted that Mr O'Keeffe was due to get the proceeds of the Kevin Long transfer. That fact should have been disclosed to the court last week. Counsel said that the money it got from the club was now being held in trust.

Counsel said that his client wished to proceed with a winding up order. Revenue, counsel said, were seeking for Mr Karl Dillon to be appointed as provisional liquidator. Counsel said that a "firm hand was required" as the company involved with the club had "badly misrepresented" its position.

While he had sympathy for Mr Gorman's client's counsel added this matter had been before the courts on many occasions. Last July, a similar winding up move was averted when the club came to an arrangement with Revenue over a similar tax bill of €439,000.

In directing that Football Association of Ireland be informed of her decision the judge said that she would strike out the order winding up the club if the entire amount is paid to revenue by 2pm tomorrow. If that was not the case then the stay would be lifted and the company would be wound up.

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