New owners are prepared for all eventualities - Bond

Gavin McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gavin McLaughlin

DUNDALK FC board member Ciaran Bond insists that new club owners Fastfix are here for the ‘long haul’ irrespective of whether the club are relegated following this week’s play-off with Waterford United.

DUNDALK FC board member Ciaran Bond insists that new club owners Fastfix are here for the ‘long haul’ irrespective of whether the club are relegated following this week’s play-off with Waterford United.

Failure to come out on top over the two legs will see Dundalk relegated back to the First Division - just four years after they gained promotion.

The very thought of playing in the League of Ireland’s second tier will send shudders down the spine of everybody associated with the club. Bond, though, spoke positively and said the club would survive even if the worst came to the worst.

“We knew that relegation was a major factor and concern and we took it on irrespective if we stay up or are relegated. Obviously it makes things easier if we stay up but if we do go down we are here for the long haul.

“We have plan A, B, C and D in place, which you have to do if you are taking over a football club.

“This club can be sustainable in a lower division but obviously there would be serious financial implications in terms of your support, what you could spend on players and what money you generate through sponsorship.

“We’ve saved this football club and what we want to do is make sure this club carries on for a long time into the future.”

Coin toss

The Lilywhites play the first of what Bond described as the “two biggest games of the season” at Oriel Park on Tuesday night. The second-leg takes place at the RSC three days later.

In 10 previous relegation/promotion play-offs the Premier Division side had home advantage in the second leg on seven occasions.

That has led to anger amongst Dundalk fans but Bond insists the club were aware that a ‘draw’ would take place to determine who played where.

“We were informed of that. As part of the participation agreement this year there would be a toss of a coin.”

License/pitch issues

Bond also said that the club were “without a doubt looking for a Premier Division license” for 2013. The submission date to the FAI in regards to that is November 21.

He also said that the new owners would not be ripping up the artificial surface at Oriel Park.

“We recently spent p10,000 upgrading the pitch”, he said. “It is due for a test in late January, early February and we would hope it is in a position to pass that.

“Obviously the finances at the club aren’t great”, he added. “We took over a debt ridden club and the most important thing is that we clear those debts to get a new license for 2013 and then look at other avenues in relation to the pitch and other things.”