Dundalk confirm progress on Oriel Park

Kenny’s side to play Brentford in effort to retain match sharpness for Europa League

Dundalk have criticised the club's former owner Gerry Matthews for revealing publicly an agreement that should pave the way to a transfer of the lease he still holds for Oriel Park but acknowledged that progress has been made with regard to the future of the ground.

The league champions have been embroiled in a dispute with Matthews relating to the lease since he relinquished control of the club in February 2013.

Matthews has now confirmed that he has reached an agreement with the club, which suggests that they are about to take control of the ill-fated Youth Development Centre he constructed on a site beside the stadium. This is something the club would be unlikely to do unless they were, in turn, close to agreement with the council on the issue of the substantial levees and rates outstanding on the building.

The club declined to comment but said it “can confirm that progress has been made with resolving all of our long-standing issues relating to the lease of Oriel Park. However, until all arrangements are complete, we are not in a position to give a full and detailed statement on this matter.”

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The team, meanwhile, is to be honoured at a civic reception in the town on Saturday, November 26th, two days after the game in Tallaght against AZ Alkmaar. The squad are continuing their preparations for that game and Stephen Kenny and the players will travel to London on Wednesday for a friendly game against English League Championship side Brentford in an effort to retain match sharpness through what is a quiet time for the club.

European style

“I’m not too sure what sort of team they will put out but that’s not much of a concern,” says Kenny. “They have a big squad and they have a European style so it won’t be too dissimilar a style to AZ maybe. Anyway, it’s a good match for us to have. Last week was very low key for us and I didn’t want this week to go the same way.”

Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan, both of whom travelled to Austria at the weekend with the senior international squad, are expected to travel to England but Kenny has several significant injury problems with Robbie Benson (hamstring), Stephen O'Donnell and Dane Massey (both calf) laid up and considered doubts for the Europa League game.

Waterford United, meanwhile, have confirmed that former under-21 international Lee Power has taken control of the club. Currently chairman of Swindon Town, Power, whose grandfather was from the city, has previously been on the boards of Cambridge United and Rushden and Diamonds.

He has been in control of Swindon since 2013 when he invested more than €1 million and subsequently took charge of the first team for a spell. There has been speculation recently that the club might be the subject of an investment from Red Bull.

Power described his involvement with Waterford, which has been struggling financially for quite some time, as “an exciting long-term project”.

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Industry and Employment Correspondent at The Irish Times