Cork City takeover talks continuing

Takeover talks between Cork City and British billionaire Trevor Hemmings are continuing.

The Preston North End owner, who owns Trabolgan Holiday Village in east Cork, is preparing a bid for the club – Hemmings has first refusal on a takeover bid following the purchase by Preston of Sean Maguire and Alan Browne’s sell on clauses in a deal believed to be worth €450,000.

That cash injection allowed City to meet the financial requirements required to obtain a Premier Division licence for the 2020 season.

Any deal would have to be voted on by FORAS members at a special meeting, however The Echo report this morning that any deal will take “months rather than weeks”.

It’s also believed that Hemmings is interested in purchasing Turner’s Cross.

City winger Daire O’Connor says the take over talks aren’t affecting the squad, and that their sole focus is the upcoming clash with Finn Harps on Friday.

“We read murmurs of it on Twitter. There’s no point us reading too much into that. To be brutally honest I don’t know how much truth is in it, we know there was a meeting held.

“At the end of the day, once we cross the white line we don’t really give a damn what goes on in the background. We’re there on the pitch for the 90 minutes, we let other people deal with the off the field stuff.”

City boss Neale Fenn echoed those sentiments, saying that the talks weren’t something he was paying attention to.

“We’re doing what we’re doing. We haven’t had too much time to think about it, we’re preparing for matches, and trying to pick the boys up after a bad defeat on Friday. We’ve been in this morning and trying to pick them up again to go again on Friday.”

City return to action on Friday night as they host Finn Harps at Turner’s Cross, looking to register their first points and indeed score their first goal of the 2020 season.

City go into the game on the back of consecutive defeats to Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, and Fenn says the onus is on them to go and attack Harps on Friday.

“I think the pressure is on us to go and take the game to Finn Harps. I think they’ll be dogged, they’ll sit in and be hard to break down. From the games I’ve watched I think that’s what they’re going to be like.

“It’ll be up to us to break them down and try and get a goal.

“They’ve had a fantastic start. They’ve got a system, a way they like to play, and it’s going to be hard to break them down.”

O’Connor meanwhile says the mood in the camp is good, despite their poor start to the season.

“Obviously we’re upset at results. But in terms of togetherness we’re still training with a smile on our faces, we’re not down in the dumps. We know it’s really early days.

“Look, I know three games in and no points, you can look at it that way. But we’ve done enough in patches to encourage ourselves to know that it will eventually come together.

“The reality is we’ve had two ridiculously tough games away from home. Granted, Shelbourne is the one that probably kicked us the most. Ten minutes to go, when things were shaky we probably could have played with the draw. But that’s not the mentality we want to instil.

“If we had come out of that Shels game with a result, I don’t think there’d be half as much talk about how we’re doing at the moment.

And O’Connor says there are positives to take from their performances so far, despite the results.

“The first half an hour against Shamrock Rovers, before we went down to ten men. Steven Bradley even came out and said we were on top at the start, we looked a threat on the counter.

“You could say we contained Dundalk relatively well up until the 60th minute, and then we got done by a peno and an absolutely worldie of a goal. We still looked a threat going forward at times. We just need to eradicate that naivety that’s in our game.

“The biggest positive is we’re only three games in, it’s not the middle of the season. We have an opportunity now to go on a decent run of games – the rest of the teams that won’t be as tough as Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers away.”

Cian Coleman is in line to return after missing the games against Rovers and Dundalk, while Conor Davis remains absent.

Deshane Dalling returns from suspension following his red card against Rovers.


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