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Thread: Cork FORAS vote to sell the club to Preston North End owner

  1. #21
    First Team joey B's Avatar
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    Going by Twitter last night a lot of younger Cork fans appear to think Hemmimgs is going to be a Abramovich type figure for them but id caution them with his history in riding in on the white horse,it might not quite be what they expect or maybe it will.....

    https://www.chorleycitizen.co.uk/spo...t-for-magpies/
    Irish by birth ,Harps by the grace of god.

  2. #22
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I don't understand why the finances are so complicated.

    CCFC is a new club and has had big crowds, lucrative transfer fees, and decent European runs in its ten-year existence.

    So why is there this strange debt agreement in place whereby debt is being reclassified or restructured (they're two different things; El-Pietro's post suggests the former but you use the latter term) such that it puts the licence at risk doesn't seem to make any sense.

    You'll forgive my "boy who cried wolf" approach to this given the previous posts. I might nip off and have a goo at the CRO actually.
    I don't see what's complicated tbh. I don't what to get into the details too much as it confidential really : but put simply- we have x amount of debt - last season the debt was deemed manageable - this season for obvious external reasons the debt is at risk at being deemed not manageable and therefore our ability to get a license was in doubt. No doubt our ability to raise capital has been further hit by relegation.

  3. #23
    First Team Yossarian's Avatar
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    I suppose the relegation put the cat amongst the pigeons and made the outlook for next season a lot weaker. It seems a bit odd that all of a sudden this debt issue has become a deciding factor. Without getting into conspiracy theories, it seems from reading the above posts that this debt issue has only come to light in the last couple of weeks just before the vote to sell the club.
    Obviously you canít risk not getting a licence but I donít think there is any chance of any existing club not getting a licence next season.

  4. #24
    The Cheeto God Real ale Madrid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    I suppose the relegation put the cat amongst the pigeons and made the outlook for next season a lot weaker. It seems a bit odd that all of a sudden this debt issue has become a deciding factor. Without getting into conspiracy theories, it seems from reading the above posts that this debt issue has only come to light in the last couple of weeks just before the vote to sell the club.
    Obviously you can’t risk not getting a licence but I don’t think there is any chance of any existing club not getting a licence next season.
    We are not living in John Delaney land anymore. If an auditor thinks you can't run a club as a going concern and he says so in your accounts then you won't get a license unless you have a benefactor underwriting it.

  5. #25
    Seasoned Pro El-Pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yossarian View Post
    I suppose the relegation put the cat amongst the pigeons and made the outlook for next season a lot weaker. It seems a bit odd that all of a sudden this debt issue has become a deciding factor. Without getting into conspiracy theories, it seems from reading the above posts that this debt issue has only come to light in the last couple of weeks just before the vote to sell the club.
    Obviously you canít risk not getting a licence but I donít think there is any chance of any existing club not getting a licence next season.
    I think thats a reasonable question to ask and I am as cynical as they come. If I were in your position thats exactly what I would be thinking.

    However the change in position with regard to how the debt affects licensing came from information shared by someone who was anti-sale, who has a lot of experience in the licensing process and who few would cast aspersions at given their track record. I do however think the board were quick to highlight this position as they were extremely pro sale as a group and I don't think they gave enough time to discussing anti-sale points of view.

  6. #26
    International Prospect Lim till i die's Avatar
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    Two things come to mind:

    1. If cork are struggling for a license next year giving someone an option to buy the club if they feel like it changes what exactly about the licence application?

    2. I'm Trevor Hemmings and I want to run a club in cork. I have two options:

    Option A: Pay foras a euro for the privilege of paying all the debts they've accrued

    Option B: Let foras keep paddling their own canoe until they are dead and then enter my own team with no debt.

    Now why would I choose option A??


    From the outside looking in it looks like a load of DOOM was spread in the last couple of weeks in an effort to get the vote over the line.

    The argument about licensing is utter scutter imho. For a couple of reasons. The first is that I can't see what's changed with the licensing application off the back of last night's vote? Unless the intention is for Hemmings to come in straightaway with his own license application. If that's the case it's been left pathetically late in the day by the board. The other reason is that you could count the number of clubs that are actually licence compliant on the fingers of one hand.


    TLDR There's a bit of a smell off the whole thing

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  8. #27
    Seasoned Pro El-Pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lim till i die View Post
    Two things come to mind:

    1. If cork are struggling for a license next year giving someone an option to buy the club if they feel like it changes what exactly about the licence application?

    2. I'm Trevor Hemmings and I want to run a club in cork. I have two options:

    Option A: Pay foras a euro for the privilege of paying all the debts they've accrued

    Option B: Let foras keep paddling their own canoe until they are dead and then enter my own team with no debt.

    Now why would I choose option A??


    From the outside looking in it looks like a load of DOOM was spread in the last couple of weeks in an effort to get the vote over the line.

    The argument about licensing is utter scutter imho. For a couple of reasons. The first is that I can't see what's changed with the licensing application off the back of last night's vote? Unless the intention is for Hemmings to come in straightaway with his own license application. If that's the case it's been left pathetically late in the day by the board. The other reason is that you could count the number of clubs that are actually licence compliant on the fingers of one hand.


    TLDR There's a bit of a smell off the whole thing
    I'm not going to get into the reasons why Hemmings would not just start his own debt free club. I don't know his motivations. I guess he would lose a lot of goodwill among the Cork public in that scenario whereas now he gets to come in as a saviour and keep the show on the road. While we don't have a lot of assets we do have a good track record of producing young players, and I'm not sure what would happen to the academy players in that scenario.

    Regarding the licensing, I don't agree that its scutter. I'm trying to talk around this in generalities rather than specifics and I feel like I'm already close to giving away too much information. FORAS will continue to submit an application. We will do so with an extremely scaled back budget most likely. Possibly proposing a virtually amateur team in 2021 because of the lack of funding aside form existing sponsorship deals. Even at that there remains a risk that the licensing committee thinks that without fans it will be very difficult for us to repay our debts.

    The hope is that Hemmings/Grovemoor will complete due diligence in short order and submit their own licensing application. They would have the finances available to erase our relatively small liabilities immediately if needed so even with no income there is less risk that the club would default on its debts. Pats for example have debts that are multiples of ours, in the millions, but their private owner has far more capability to inject cash to service debt if necessary than we do currently.

    There is the posibility that with Covid still hanging over the league that the licensing committee is more lenient as otherwise several clubs may face difficulty getting a license. However I would wager that most No voters saw that risk as too great when someone was willing to take over and thats what swayed the vote.
    Last edited by El-Pietro; 29/10/2020 at 12:02 PM.

  9. #28
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    Its done now and it appears that finances were going to be a problem. How things change in a couple of years. The reality is that clubs are going to continue to struggle until the League becomes something that is a headline act again. They need to get crowds into all grounds not just a few and that will allow clubs to offer real value to people they get sponsorship off.
    This is currently a Cork issue but no doubt lurks in the background for many clubs. The mention of semi pro or amateur reflects on the resources available this year and it will not be an easy job to get promoted next year. Galway will be a real threat and whoever comes down will also need to get back up quickly whilst Bray or Longford will hopefully invest in a squad to get promotion. Lets hope it works out well for Cork and that they prosper.Maybe we will see a side from Limerick back in the league.

  10. #29
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Real ale Madrid View Post
    I don't see what's complicated tbh. I don't what to get into the details too much as it confidential really : but put simply- we have x amount of debt - last season the debt was deemed manageable - this season for obvious external reasons the debt is at risk at being deemed not manageable and therefore our ability to get a license was in doubt. No doubt our ability to raise capital has been further hit by relegation.
    A football club - even Dundalk or Rovers - is a small entity in the bigger scheme of things.

    It has debt of course - bank loans, Revenue arrears maybe, trade creditors and so on.

    But if it has debt that either needs to be restructured or reclassified, then it's getting into complications that a small business generally doesn't have. So that's the bit that I find unusual in all this, particular as a club with a history of recent good transfers and European money. Yes, the budget went south, which can happen, but I don't that there should be a huge need for complicated debt agreements which would presumably have been entered into at a time that the club was relatively new and successful.

    On buying now rather than picking up a debt-free company later, possibly the issues around Waterford's European qualification, having done effectively the same thing, came to mind?
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 29/10/2020 at 12:24 PM.

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    Seasoned Pro Nesta99's Avatar
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    is this board more or less the same as the one that authorised the increase of Caulfields budget that kinda kicked off this tailspin? If it is the same people, and yes it is a thankless job being on a LoI club board, but their performance was seriously flawed. 3 years after a maiden league, back to back cup wins, Europe, by a significant margin highest attendances in the league and player sales. Even by LoI its a rapid decline in to what amounts to a type of firesale. Covid or not CCFC would surely have had to go through significant readjustment. Cant see the MFA playing ball on Turners Cross with all the work theyve put in to it development.

    As an aside games between Cork and Galway will be interesting next season. Cork may not find it just as easy to be promoted than is thought

  12. #31
    Seasoned Pro El-Pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    A football club - even Dundalk or Rovers - is a small entity in the bigger scheme of things.

    It has debt of course - bank loans, Revenue arrears maybe, trade creditors and so on.

    But if it has debt that either needs to be restructured or reclassified, then it's getting into complications that a small business generally doesn't have. So that's the bit that I find unusual in all this, particular as a club with a history of recent good transfers and European money. Yes, the budget went south, which can happen, but I don't that there should be a huge need for complicated debt agreements which would presumably have been entered into at a time that the club was relatively new and successful.

    On buying now rather than picking up a debt-free company later, possibly the issues around Waterford's European qualification, having done effectively the same thing, came to mind?
    The debt has not been changed in any way. It has not been restructured, it has not been reclassified. Our opinion in relation to the debt and the effect it might have on the licensing process has changed. I think you are reading too much into the wording here.

  13. #32
    Seasoned Pro El-Pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nesta99 View Post
    is this board more or less the same as the one that authorised the increase of Caulfields budget that kinda kicked off this tailspin? If it is the same people, and yes it is a thankless job being on a LoI club board, but their performance was seriously flawed. 3 years after a maiden league, back to back cup wins, Europe, by a significant margin highest attendances in the league and player sales. Even by LoI its a rapid decline in to what amounts to a type of firesale. Covid or not CCFC would surely have had to go through significant readjustment. Cant see the MFA playing ball on Turners Cross with all the work theyve put in to it development.

    As an aside games between Cork and Galway will be interesting next season. Cork may not find it just as easy to be promoted than is thought
    No. The board has been changed dramatically over the last couple of years. Only the current Chairman was on the board prior to 2019 and he joined in 2018.

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  15. #33
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El-Pietro View Post
    The debt has not been changed in any way. It has not been restructured, it has not been reclassified. Our opinion in relation to the debt and the effect it might have on the licensing process has changed. I think you are reading too much into the wording here.
    Well Real Ale says "the way that debt has been re-structured greatly impacts our ability to trade as a going concern and as a result impacts our ability to get a license for 2021", so I don't see what else I can read into that wording other than that either (a) the debt has been restructured or (b) the above is wrong.

    And you've said "the way we look at the debt, particularly in relation to licensing has changed", which is where I'm getting the reclassifying suggestion. Or are you saying that licensing has fundamentally changed somehow such that what was once ok now isn't?
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 29/10/2020 at 2:05 PM.

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    I think it became a gamble either way but after the carry on with former owner (Coughlan?) I am surprised that most voted for the Ä1 offer. That said when Dundalk was sold abroad there were great fears but so far so good.
    The only thing about it is that I don't understand how the rules apply in regards to Brexit and taxes from another region outside the EU. Can a tax be applied to the owner regarding the potential value of Cork as a football club/business?

  17. #35
    Coach Poor Student's Avatar
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    It's sad to see this and that the members feel their hand was essentially forced into swallowing something unpalatable. It looks like the appointment of Neale Fenn basically killed FORAS. I know the ball was set in motion with the increased budget and the performance in Caufield's final season and the external factor of COVID is a huge issue but Fenn cleaned the decks and his recruitment turned them into relegation fodder and broke the ownership model.

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  19. #36
    First Team joey B's Avatar
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    Neale Fenn was the final act of what is a familiar story in the league of Ireland, Harps, Derry, Bohs, Shels and on and on have been there, spending money they didn't have banking on success that is never guaranteed, as I heard on a podcast about this situation this week if the board of a league of Ireland club is an echo chamber this is usually what happens......

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  21. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by D24Saint View Post
    The man himself is a billionaire so he doesnít need cork to make a quick buck. The issues will be in the years ahead as the man is advancing in years and do his family share his interest in football.
    He's presumably a billionaire because he has a good eye for making bucks - both quick and slow. You won't find many billionaires who don't.

    What was his interest in buying into Cork then ? Does he have any familial tis to the area, for example?

  22. #38
    First Team joey B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    He's presumably a billionaire because he has a good eye for making bucks - both quick and slow. You won't find many billionaires who don't.

    What was his interest in buying into Cork then ? Does he have any familial tis to the area, for example?
    He's well embedded in Cork tbf, owns Trabolgan holiday resort and has a horse stud in Kanturk.

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  24. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by El-Pietro View Post
    I voted to sell. I did not enjoy doing so. My approach was always what is best for the long term future of the club. I am not convinced that in the long term selling to an individual is better than keeping the club fan owned. I think we are likely to have more success in the short term under Grovemoor than FORAS but in 15, 30 or more years? That remains unknown.

    I think if the vote happened a week ago then the vote would have been closer but some things emerged that swayed a significant number of no voters like me. For me it came down to licensing. We have a relatively small amount of debt that the board have indicated is manageable over the next number of years but there is the possibility that the licensing committee disagrees that this debt is manageable while we are a first division outfit with no gate receipts, limited ability to fund-raise and in an environment that makes businesses slow to support us. There is the possibility that licensing is loosened as multiple teams could find it difficult to be granted a license otherwise but we can't gamble on that possibility, and we have seen how much more strict licensing was under this new FAI in 2020, and the FAI have given no indication that this will change in 2021.

    So in the end I voted to secure our immediate future but I did so feeling very unhappy about it. I hope I made the right choice, but we won't know for several years.
    There are too many 'maybes' in the above explanation for me. Did Cork engage with the licensing committee/FAI in advance to gauge if they were likely to view the debt as an issue ?

    As for the licensing committee factoring in the Covid impact on revenue in how they assess applications - if they do that, there will be essentially no league left. There isn't a club (potentially bar Derry, Dundalk, Rovers and maybe Waterford?) that isn't kept alive by gate receipts and sponsorship money. So if they're assuming clubs will have none of those in 2021, then there'll be a lot not getting a license as a result.

    We all also know how football (and indeed most things) work in Ireland. The FAI, league etc would have done everything in their power to keep a Cork club in the league IMO, so would've been sympathetic towards a license in my opinion. And that is something they should have done due diligence on in-advance, if they didn't. So it sounds to me like fear was used to get a particular vote.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 29/10/2020 at 4:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lim till i die View Post
    Two things come to mind:

    1. If cork are struggling for a license next year giving someone an option to buy the club if they feel like it changes what exactly about the licence application?

    2. I'm Trevor Hemmings and I want to run a club in cork. I have two options:

    Option A: Pay foras a euro for the privilege of paying all the debts they've accrued

    Option B: Let foras keep paddling their own canoe until they are dead and then enter my own team with no debt.

    Now why would I choose option A??


    From the outside looking in it looks like a load of DOOM was spread in the last couple of weeks in an effort to get the vote over the line.

    The argument about licensing is utter scutter imho. For a couple of reasons. The first is that I can't see what's changed with the licensing application off the back of last night's vote? Unless the intention is for Hemmings to come in straightaway with his own license application. If that's the case it's been left pathetically late in the day by the board. The other reason is that you could count the number of clubs that are actually licence compliant on the fingers of one hand.

    TLDR There's a bit of a smell off the whole thing
    Option B would be a non-starter, from the sheer amount of work involved and the uncertainty. Setting up a senior club from scratch is not easy. No guarantee you'd get the license either. and no guarantee you'd have the support of the community either. Hugely risky for very little benefit.

    Much easier to buy a club that already exists then try to set one up - especially in a country you don't know, and in a city with which you have no genuine connection to or presence in to even start sorting stuff like that out.

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