Rovers consider their new dawn

 

SHAMROCK ROVERS' shareholders meet in Dublin this afternoon to endorse the takeover of the club by Premier Computers, a company which had previously been behind ambitious expansion plans at St James's Gate.

More than 80 per cent of shareholders' votes are believed to be committed to the plan which would open the way to a move to an all-seater stadium near The Square shopping complex in Tallaght. The stadium is expected to be ready next January.

Under the terms of the scheme, existing shareholders will be entitled to retain a holding in the club, albeit a diluted one, while Premier executives Mark Howell and Alan McGrath are expected to take overall control. Pat Byrne will be appointed commercial manager at his old club.

Current chairman John McNamara, who is widely credited with saving the club from extinction after the sale of Glenmalure Park for property development, is expected to depart, although he may retain a nominal holding in the club.

One outstanding question is where the club will play its home games prior to the January move. Rovers were forced to leave their most recent home, the RDS, when plans for a new stand at the ground were abandoned. Tolka Park seems likely to be their temporary home, once again.

Drogheda United, meanwhile, are expected to name their new manager this evening with former Shelbourne and Dundalk defender Anto Whelan the frontrunner to take charge after the departure of Jim McLaughlin.