TIME is running out to save top-flight football on Leeside, as Cork City face into a make or break few days for the club.
With the consortium represented by the Quintas Group having withdrawn from takeover talks, it’s understood that a Britain-based group remains in contention to buy the club.
However, with some sources now putting the club’s debts at over €500,000 ahead of next week’s dual deadlines of the FAI club licensing awards and a High Court hearing of a winding-up petition by the Revenue Commissioners, City’s future hangs in the balance.
“We’re working diligently to get something sorted in the next 48 to 72 hours,” said owner Tom Coughlan yesterday. “There are a number of parties interested in taking over; we’re doing everything we can to get people over the line.”
Coughlan, who has become the focus of criticism for the club’s plight, insisted his “primary focus is to save the football club.”
He added: “I’ve put in, in excess of €1million of my own money into the club and there’s no question of me getting it back. What’s important now is that the people who do come in have the wherewithal to move the club forward.”
Former captain Dan Murray, who made his debut for his new club Shamrock Rovers in a friendly against Shelbourne on Saturday, says that not only the city of Cork, but the League of Ireland as a whole, needs top-flight football on Leeside.
“Cork city needs football and League of Ireland football, hopefully Premier Division football,” said Murray. “It’s a massive town and it loves its football. The supporters are great and you get some great crowds down there.
“But it needs a clean slate and fresh ideas. It needs FORAS, the supporters’ group, to get involved, probably with some local businessman, who can give it a right go. That’s what it needs. It needs a fresh start and for the supporters to be a big part of the club. It’s hard for everyone as no-one wants to be in that situation. It’s been difficult for the players and the manager. I just hope everything gets sorted out for the club and there is football in Cork because it would be a massive shame for the city and the league if there was no Cork City in there.”
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