Bohs 'delighted' to share grounds with bitter rivals Shels
BOHEMIANS Football Club said they have no problem sharing their grounds with rivals Shelbourne FC.
Dalymount Park was sold to Dublin City Council for €3.8m last week.
It will mean a total revamp of the stadium to match major European club venues, but may also see the grounds shared with fierce rivals Shelbourne FC.
Shelbourne was already offered to play on the revamped pitch but declined due to its own leasing and ownership issues at Tolka Park.
However, Dublin City Council (DCC) has now said that the door is open.
DCC's Cormac Healy, who is project manager of the redevelopment, said sharing the pitch with the team was "certainly part of the discussions".
"It really is an open playing pitch at this stage," he said.
Bohemians president Matt Devaney said that Shelbourne was still "welcome" to play at the stadium.
"Initially when this kicked off, we were well aware that it would happen," he said.
"Through meetings, we drafted agreements of how it would work if the two of us were here.
"I think we need to get away from one-upmanship where we are content and another club has to suffer, that's not the way that the league is going to progress.
"As I said we were in discussions and I'd be delighted for them to come," he said.
An "extremely bumpy road" preceded the sale of Dalymount, with the club in heavy debt to Zurich Bank.
Nama was appointed a receiver to part of the terrace at the Phibsboro end of the stadium two years ago, while Zurich Bank owns a section of the grounds - and is owed over €4m by the club.
With the ownership of the stadium now in the council's hands, the debt will be paid by the local authority.
The redevelopment is proposed to include a "plastic pitch", gym facilities and a museum.
According to the club owners, the four seating stands may be redeveloped.
A timeline has yet to be established for the works and DCC cannot say when construction will begin.
The council also could not say whether the seating capacity would be increased.
Last Friday, members of the club had "an extraordinary meeting" in which it ratified the purchase by the local authority.
Mr Devaney said that the agreement came after years of hard work at the club.
"It was an extremely bumpy road at times as we struggled to keep all the balls in the air and keep everything afloat," he said.
"Apart from trying to negotiate this deal there was a football club to run."
He said that he would like to see DCC extend the community development work done by the club as part of the deal.
He also said that he wanted gyms and other facilities at the grounds, modelled on other European Clubs.