Limerick FC owner hits out at FAI as club heads for liquidation
Judge discharges examiner after hearing ‘club no longer has reasonable prospect of survival’
Limerick FC chairman Pat O’Sullivan said: ‘It is scandalous the way the FAI has treated me.’ File photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Limerick FC faces liquidation after a judge on Wednesday discharged the appointment of an examiner for the company behind League of Ireland club.
At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge John O’Connor discharged Conor Noone of Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants as examiner after being told by counsel for Mr Noone, Gearóid Costelloe, that the company Munster Football Club Ltd “no longer has a reasonable prospect of survival”.
The judge told the court that “is a very sad day for the football club, but unfortunately the law is clinical”.
Mr Costelloe said that the examiner making the application to be discharged comes as “a bitter disappointment” as Mr Noone is aware of the stellar community work the club does.
Mr Costelloe stated that eight expressions of interest were received for the business and Mr Noone identified one investor who set out an indicative offer for the company.
However, Mr Costelloe stated that the investor did not engage with Mr Noone in the manner required in order to firstly secure a licence for First Division football next season nor concerning the funding necessary for the formulation of a scheme of arrangement with Limerick FC’s creditors.
Mr Costelloe stated that Wednesday was day 97 of the 100-day examinership and Mr Noone has carried out extensive work to determine if the company had a reasonable prospect of survival.
Mr Noone was appointed on September 6th and Munster Football Club Limited had debts of about €490,000 at the time.
Mr Costelloe stated that the Circuit Court does not have jurisdiction ordering the wind-up of companies and such applications are brought before the High Court.
Owner of Munster Football Club Ltd, Pat O’Sullivan was in court on Wednesday for the brief hearing. He told the judge: “It is scandalous the way the FAI has treated me.”
“The FAI have put every obstacle in the way of the club and 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.”
“No other club has been put through the process of having to jump all these hurdles before we get an opportunity to apply for a licence.”
Mr O’Sullivan told the court that he has spent on Limerick FC “€6 million to €7 million of my money and I started working for a 10-shilling note”.
He added: “I reject any implication from Revenue that we are playing games or doing things wrong.”
In a statement after court, Mr Noone stated: “Despite the progress made in developing a viable restructuring plan the company over the last 100 days, we are disappointed at the outcome reached today. Everything possible has been undertaken to secure the future of the company and to preserve employment at Limerick FC.”
The statement stated that the next step in the history of the company will likely be the appointment of a liquidator.