Cork City FC captain Cian Coleman lifts the cup after the SSE Airtricity League First Division match between Cork City and Bray Wanderers at Turner’s Cross in October. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cork City FC set for takeover

A bid to purchase Cork City FC has been provisionally accepted by the club.

The bid from successful businessman Dermot Usher sets out an ambition to qualify for European competition as well as to invest in the women’s side of the club.

The board’s decision to accept the bid is now subject to approval of the shareholders of the Friends of the Rebel Army Society (FORAS), the supporter's group who currently control the club.

A vote on the decision will take place at a special general meeting on 4 December where a simple majority in favour will see it passed.

The club’s board has said it will be unanimously supporting a vote in favour of a sale, in what it believes could be an exciting next chapter in the history of Cork City FC.

Both Mr Usher and Club Chairman Declan Carey will be making a number of media appearances over the coming weeks.

Dublin-born Usher previously owned the Irish market-leading bathroom brand, Sonas Bathrooms, growing the business to in excess of €40 million in revenues per annum. He sold the company in 2021 and remains on the board of directors as Non-Executive Director.

The bid and accompanying business plan includes the hiring of a full-time marketing executive to boost the club's profile across Cork city and county.

It will also see the hiring of a full-time director of football to oversee academy integration with the first-team, club recruitment policy, establish scouting networks, youth transfer policy, and ensure the same football philosophy and culture are embedded throughout the club.

Mr Usher has also outlined a commitment to work with the Munster Football Association on the development of Turner’s Cross, as well as a commitment to end all gambling sponsorship associated with the football club.

Mr Usher said: “I have been passionate about sport all my life and I'm an avid fan of the League of Ireland. Since I sold my business in 2021, I have been looking to contribute more to football in this country.

“FORAS under fan ownership have done the club proud over the past 12 years. I just hope they will now give me the chance to bring the club to the next level. I will always aim to over-deliver and will look to grow every area of the club.

“I understand how difficult times have been under different owners in past but I promise I will do everything possible to make your football club successful and competing at the right end of the League of Ireland. I have committed the financial support to make this happen.”

Club Chairman Declan Carey added: “We've met with Dermot and heard what he has to say. He is passionate about the League of Ireland but critically has the business knowledge, experience and personal wealth to back up his ambitions for our football club. This will be the right decision for our football club.”