DUNDALK FC owner Gerry Matthews has claimed that the club’s current financial difficulties can be traced back to the end of last season.
Speaking on Dundalk FM last week, Matthews said that claims made by an “individual, or individuals” at the time of a failed takeover bid by Fastfix “shattered the credibility of the club”, leading to sponsors and fans withdrawing their support for the club.
Matthews did not disclose names but went on to say that “there is an element out there that want me out and they’ll sabotage the club in the meantime to get me out.”
“This all started last August or September when an individual, or individuals took it upon themselves to go to newspapers and put in false information about myself and the club”, he said.
“Three particular things spring to mind, the first was that we were supposed to have an illegal license in the Youth Development Centre (YDC), totally untrue. Secondly it was that the pitch had failed a test, not alone was that untrue but the pitch had not even been tested at that stage. Thirdly there were concerns about the lotto money.
“It shattered the credibility of the club overnight. Supporters had no confidence in the club and no confidence in me. A lot of them left the lotto and I can understand that because when people hear things they tend to believe it. It dampened morale around the club. The damage was done.”
The local businessman (pictured above) also reiterated his desire to leave the club at the end of the current season and said that if new owners could not agree on a deal to take over the YDC, he would shut it down.
“What will happen at the end of October, as far as I can see is one of three things.
“The first one is that if there are new owners taking over the club, they are in a position to pay me for half the building costs of the YDC. They can get a surveyor to look at the costs and they give me half of what it cost and they take it over lock, stock and barrel.
“Another option may be that new owners enter into some sort of agreement with me that they rent the building from me, with a substantial deposit, and that they rent it at a nominal fee so they have all the profits.
“The third option, if that doesn’t happen, and I see this as a serious indictment to the club and its supporters, the YDC will probably close. I won’t have the bar because I’m not having people thinking I’m making money and keeping it myself. The only way to do that is to stop making money and nobody will get anything out of it then. I’ll sell the license of the pub and the other part of the money is going to pay the contributions to the council who we are in agreement with. If we don’t have income to service that then the YDC will have to close altogether.”