CORK CITY chairman Tom Coughlan has gone to court to challenge the 12-month ban and €5,000 fine imposed last week by a Disciplinary Committee at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown.
Coughlan yesterday obtained an order from the High Court for leave to judicially review the hearing which took place on December 17.
According to a statement issued by the club: “The order relates to the committee’s refusal of Mr Coughlan’s request for an adjournment, the committee’s decision to hold the hearing in Mr Coughlan’s absence and the Committee’s finding that Mr Coughlan had brought the game of football into disrepute and the sanction imposed on him. As a result of this, certain issues may not be capable of being finalised while the proceedings are pending.”
The statement went on to say that, while awaiting the outcome of the judicial review, the Cork City chairman remains committed to obtaining a renewal of the club’s licence for the 2010 season.
Speaking to CorkCityFC.ie, Coughlan said: “I was very disappointed with the decision of the Disciplinary Committee and the manner in which we have been treated. It is unfortunate that we have had to pursue this course of action. However given the prejudicial nature of the CEO’s comments and the subsequent actions of the Disciplinary Committee, we were left with no option. We hope that this issue can be brought to speedy and successful conclusion so that we can concentrate on playing football next season.”
In an FAI statement last night, the organisation expressed its “surprise at the Cork City FC statement that Mr Tom Coughlan was granted leave to apply for judicial review, given that Mr Coughlan has to date failed to exhaust all internal appeal procedures open to him.”
The statement went on: “The FAI is not on notice of any court application and if any order was made, it would have been given on an ex parte basis, meaning that it would have been granted on Mr Coughlan’s word only.”
Coughlan is due to meet with Roddy Collins in Cork today, with the Dubliner still odds-on to be installed as a successor to Paul Doolin as the new City manager.
Collins yesterday reiterated his desire for the job, saying: “I’ll have a chat with Tom and see what the craic is. I’d be very hopeful. I’m up for it big time.”
Asked about the uncertainty surrounding the club, Collins said: “That’s alright. I was well-schooled in that at Carlisle and there were no resources there. I’m used to going into difficult circumstances. I only get difficult jobs.”
Meanwhile, Bohemians midfielder Gary Deegan has signed a three and a half year deal with Championship side Coventry City.
Said City boss Chris Coleman said: “We are delighted to have secured Gary’s signature and we believe we have acquired not only a very good technical footballer but also a very tenacious and hard-working one who will complement the players we already have here.”
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