BOHEMIANS remain hopeful that a deal can be completed to retain Dalymount Park as their home - but celebrations appear to be premature even though Dublin City Council have already confirmed the €3.8million purchase of the ground.
"We're very close and we're very hopeful but it's too early to start celebrating, we still have to get it over the line," a club source said last night.
Dublin's lord mayor Christy Burke has acclaimed the deal, saying: "It is a good future for everyone". And Minister for Sport Paschal Donohoe said: "Obviously a redeveloped stadium will be a boost for Bohemians in particular, and the League of Ireland in general, but it can be expected that such a redevelopment will bring about wider economic benefits for the local area".
Bohs have been in talks with DCC over a deal which would see the council take control of the Phibsboro venue with Bohs, in return, having their debts paid off as Bohs would remain on the the ground as tenants under an FAI lease.
The €3.8m purchase price would allow Bohs deal with their debt to Zurich Bank and also start to tackle the estimated €700,000 in members' loans. But the club also need to deal with a substantial six-figure sum for legal fees from court battles related to their property dealings.
On the field tonight, Bohs hope to build on Friday's superb win away to Dundalk when they take on St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park but boss Keith Long (left) says: "We play three full-time teams in the space of a week and that will be tough on a part-time group of players.".
Kenny Browne is available for Pats against following suspension but Conan Byrne remains sidelined.