Buyer found for Cork City, winding-up order deferred

Winding-up proceedings brought against Cork City FC over a debt of more than €100,000 to the Revenue Commissioners will be struck out next week if the money is paid by Wednesday.

Today at the High Court Ms Justice Mary Laffoy was told the the troubled League of Ireland side has the funds to discharge a debt of €107,653 owed to revenue but was unable to do so because its bank account had been frozen.

The judge directed the bank, AIB, to receive some €158,000 arising out of the sale of players to clubs in England, and from that amount, the money owed to Revenue is to be paid.

Once Revenue's debt has been satisfied the judge said that she proposed to strike out the proceedings at next Monday's sitting of the Court.

Counsel for Cork City Investment FC Ltd. Elaine Grier Bl said even though the club was due money from the English FA from the transfers, the club was unable to make a payment to revenue.

Counsel said that this was because the club's bank account has been frozen as a result of Revenue taking High proceedings to wind up the club over an outstanding bill for VAT, PAYE and PRSI.

Counsel said that the situation had arisen because under FIFA regulations the money had to be lodged into Cork City's account and could not be paid directly to Revenue by the English FA.

Counsel said that once the club, which was "in a difficult position" got the money into its account it would pay Revenue forthwith.

Counsel said that it was seeking an order from the court directing the bank to allow the money from the UK be lodged in Cork City's bank account and then to forward the amount owed to the Revenue Commissioners.

Counsel also told the court that following negotiations a buyer had been found for the club, however under the terms of a proposed contract of sale, the debt owed to revenue would be satisfied.

Dermott Cahill Bl for the Revenue said his client had a lot of legitimate concerns about the proceedings. Counsel said that there was no evidence before the court that the club was solvent and that there had been "a long history" concerning winding up proceedings against Cork City Investments Ltd.

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.

Revenue, counsel added, were not willing to get involved with AIB over the proposed payment from the UK to the club's bank account as it was not within Revenue's powers to do so.

The judge said she was willing to grant the order to direct the bank to receive the funds from the UK and from those, Revenue should be paid. Noting that Revenue were the only creditors the judge said that the only thing preventing Revenue from being paid directly were the FIFA directions.

The judge said that the debt must be paid by Wednesday, and if that is done she will strike out the winding-up proceedings next Monday. "Hopefully we wont be here again," concluded the judge.

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