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Saturday 25 January 2020

Limerick looking at end of the line

6 October 2012; Limerick FC chairman Pat OSullivan celebrates at the end of the game. Airtricity League First Division, Longford Town v Limerick FC, Flancare Park, Co. Longford. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
6 October 2012; Limerick FC chairman Pat OSullivan celebrates at the end of the game. Airtricity League First Division, Longford Town v Limerick FC, Flancare Park, Co. Longford. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Irish football has suffered another blow with Limerick FC facing extinction after the failure to find a solution to their cash crisis.

The club went into examinership last September with debts of almost €490,000.

The examiner of Munster Football Club Ltd, the company behind the club, returned to Ennis District Court yesterday to remove court protection which brings that process to an end. Limerick FC have not applied for a licence for next season due to the fact they were in examinership.

Conor Noone of Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants told the Court that attempts to engage with an investor or formulate plans to deal with creditors had failed to progress.

"We are disappointed at the outcome reached today," said Noone. "The next step in the history of the company will likely be the appointment of a liquidator."

Limerick owner Pat O'Sullivan blamed the FAI for the demise, claiming they had "put every obstacle in the way of the club".

He told the court that he had invested €6 to €7million of his own money into the Blues. "Ultimately, what will happen is that the club will have to just fold and Pat O'Sullivan is out of sight and out of mind," he said.

With no Limerick alternative available, a Shamrock Rovers 'B' side is set to take their place in the second tier with the Hoops keen to revive a one-season experiment from 2014 which will allow them to keep hold of more young players that aren't ready for the first team.

However, First Division clubs are unhappy with the proposal to bring in a Hoops second string.

It's believed the FAI have drafted a fixture list for the First Division with ten teams, even though they were conscious that Limerick might be a problem - with Rovers 'B' poised to slot into their place.

The prospect of formal opposition from the divisional rivals would add to the list of problems facing the Abbotstown governing body.

PFAI chief Stephen McGuinness said yesterday that he had been contacted by the authorities of global players union FIFPRO to find out exactly what is going on after reports of the FAI's massive debt attracted attention outside these shores.

The FAI are reliant on support from UEFA as they look to draft a refinancing package.

"They were onto us to say 'Is this real?' 'Has this actually happened?' 'Are these figures accurate'?" said McGuinness.

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