Drogheda United officials hold public meeting tonight in effort to save club

Wed, Dec 3, 2008, 00:00

LEAGUE OF IRELAND PREMIER DIVISION:DROGHEDA UNITED officials will continue their campaign to raise the €100,000 they require by Friday week at a public meeting at the town's Institute of Further Education at 8.30pm this evening.

The money is required ahead of the club's next appearance in the High Court and the belief around the club is if they can't make that initial target then they are unlikely to be allowed to continue their wider battle to stave off bankruptcy.

Chairman Vincent Hoey has described talks aimed at securing substantial new investment in the club as "slow" and has admitted the future will be bleak for the 2007 Premier League champions in the event they can not come up with the money required to strike a deal with creditors and come out of examinership.

Already, the club has failed to meet the November 30th deadline for making arrangements with players regarding back money for the tail-end of the season just ended, something that could result in it being refused a licence to play in the league next year. Another five clubs - Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Cobh Ramblers, Finn Harps and Athlone Town, are reported to have also missed the deadline and Athlone officials issued a statement yesterday expressing the hope they will be able to address the "cash flow problems" that prevented them complying with the rules over the coming weeks.

The FAI have the power to provide the club with a reprieve on that front although it remains to be seen whether Drogheda can stay in business long enough for an extension even to become an issue. Having initially been paid roughly a third of their wages in the wake of the financial crisis being revealed, staff at the club have not been paid at all for the last couple of weeks. Most of the playing staff were out of contract at the end of the season and some have been offered deals by some of United's Premier Division rivals while a number of others have been having trials with British clubs in the last couple of weeks.

A number of supporters have raised significant sums to help out but Hoey is hoping a large number of them turn out this evening when he intends to brief them on the latest situation and explore ways in which the money required might be generated.