Cork City might be out of Europe for another 12 months and looking forward to Champions League football next summer but despite the hefty costs of away trips to Estonia and Cyprus, the club coffers are ticking over nicely.
Manager John Caulfield and his squad arrived home last night from Cyprus where they bowed out of the Europa League series after another narrow defeat to AEK Larnaca at the AEK Arena but the club remain in a healthy financial state.
City have a week to get the European defeat out of the system now before they resume their league campaign at home to Galway United next weekend.
The cost of the two European trips was in the region of €200,000 but they made the bones of €440,000 in Uefa prize money plus gate receipts from the two home games to Levadia Tallinn and AEK. On top of that, they had the transfers of Sean Maguire to Preston for a buy-out clause of £150,000 and Kevin O’Connor is thought to have gone to Deepdale for a six-figure sum as well.
Cork have six home league games to come and by the end of the season up to 100,000 people will have passed through the turnstiles at Turner’s Cross.
“It was cruel on us to concede the winning goal at a time when we were enjoying our best spell in the game but they are the fine margins we spoke about when it comes to European football at this level,” said boss John Caulfield.
“We took a few risks in the second half trying to get the goal back but it wasn’t to be, and to be fair over the two legs AEK were marginally the better side, as the two results would suggest.
“We came more into the game when they resorted to playing a few long balls but we didn’t really open up or create what you would say was a clearcut chance. You must have 100% concentration at this level and if you switch off at all you get punished, and that’s what happened us in the return leg.”
“AEK had that extra bit of skill and quickness of thought but you get that at a higher level,” he added. “Obviously it’s disappointing to lose to AEK for the second time in a week but we move on and get to focus on our own domestic league now and it’s a league championship we know we can win. We haven’t won the league for 12 years and its time to change that trend now.
“We are in a very strong position, we have Galway United at home next Friday night and I am hoping for a big crowd. We own them one after our 1-1 draw in Galway back in May and Shane Keegan’s team are still the only team to take league points off us this year,” he added.
Cork were drawn away to Bray Wanderers in the FAI Cup which was made in Kilkenny yesterday and overnight the club announced that defender and former Irish U21 star John Kavanagh has gone to Cobh Ramblers on loan to the end of the season.
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