Drogheda United seek examinership

The High Court has appointed an interim examiner to Drogheda United Football Club which claims it has run into financial difficulties caused by delays over the team's proposed move to a new stadium.

Hinge Trading Ltd, United Park, Windmill Rd, Drogheda, Co Louth, whose principle business is running Drogheda United FC, have sought the protection of the court due to cash flow problems in recent months over a move to a new 10,000 seater stadium on a green-field site south of Drogheda at Bryanstown.

As a result the club, who were league champions in 2007 and has 27 players in its first-team squad and 12 backroom and administrative staff, says it is currently insolvent and has a deficit of more than €732,000.

Following today's application the club may face a points deduction by the league.

Today, Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan approved the appointment of Mr Kieran McCarthy of Hughes Blake Chartered Accountants as interim examiner following an application made on behalf of the company's directors by Mr Ross Gorman BL.

The judge said that she was happy to appoint Mr McCarthy after being informed that the company has a reasonable prospect of survival.

The club said that following a report from an independent accountant it can survive if certain conditions are implemented.

These include a successful negotiation with players and staff over the restructuring of the costs, obtaining an investment package, and the acceptance by creditors of a scheme of arrangement in relation to repayments of debts.

The club says it got into difficulties and has significant debts to creditors, including the Revenue commissioners who are owed €535,506 in respect of PAYE and PRSI.

In an affidavit to the court, company director Mr Brian Vincent Hoey said that there has been a lot of uncertainly about the club, and players were very concerned.

The club was not in a position to pay the players last week, and it is uncertain if the players are prepared to play in their game on Friday.

If that game is not played then the club could be relegated.

He said that he hoped that Mr McCarthy's appointment would help stabilise affairs.

He added that the club has received letters of support from Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, John Delaney CEO of the FAI and Cllr Frank Maher Mayor of Drogheda since it made public its decision to seek the court's protection

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