Cork City say they received no donation from a consortium to help sign Steven Beattie
A consortium led by former Cork City general manager Paul Whycherly have released a statement to say that they provided a "financial gift" to help secure the return of Steven Beattie to the club, however City say the club had no part to play in that arrangement.
The statement from the consortium says they're passionate about the future of Cork City, and that the donation was provided with the sole purpose of assisting in securing the return of Beattie.
The statement reads:
"A consortium of Cork business people, including former Cork City FC General Manager Paul Wycherley, with vast combined experience in business and sports administration, have joined together with a shared interest in the future of Cork City FC.
"The group has confirmed a financial gift to the first team player, and recent marquee signing, Steven Beattie. This donation was provided with the sole purpose of assisting in securing the return of Beattie, as recently announced by the club.
"The consortium is passionate about the future of Cork City FC, and has expressed this to the Club’s Board. The group welcomed the opportunity to support the Club’s efforts to sign Beattie, a fans’ favourite who previously played at the Club from 2015-2018."
However in a statement issued to RedFM Sport this morning, City refuted the claim of any donation to the club, and says they're disappointed the group had chosen to use Beattie's signing as a "publicity stunt to place pressure on the board of management."
"The Board of Management have become aware that a group of Cork business people have released a statement to the press, stating that they had made a donation toward the wages of Steven Beattie, who had recently resigned for Cork City FC.
"The board would like to make it clear that any contractual arrangement between Steven Beattie and Cork City Football Club is being fully funded by Cork City FC and not any third party. The club had no hand, nor part to play in this this arrangement. Any arrangement for additional part-time employment is a matter for individual players.
"The board are also disappointed that this group has chosen to use the signing of a player as a publicity stunt to place pressure on the board of management.
"Since the ratification of the call option agreement with Grovemoor Ltd., we have made clear to this group on multiple occasions that we have a contractual arrangement with Grovemoor Ltd., and we will be conducting our business in the proper manner by seeing out that arrangement."
Beattie won a league and cup double with Cork City in 2017 along with the FAI Cup in 2016, before signing for the Chattanooga Red Wolves in the US in 2018.
The consortium approached former Cork City FC board member Damien Sreenan, after Sreenan's effort to crowd fund for Beattie's signing fell short.
In the consortium's statement, Sreenan said:
"The Club was hoping to sign Steven Beattie, and in discussions with Steven, I became aware that he was excited about the prospect. However, due to the Club's financial challenges, an agreement was not possible. I made the decision to intervene with an online fundraising campaign to determine if the fans could raise the additional funds required to help get Steven back to the Club and, in turn, support the club’s future success in a very real way. While there was fantastic support from the fans, it wasn’t going to be sufficient to cover the shortfall in funds.
I was approached by Paul Wycherley, who was aware of my campaign. He, along with a group of Cork business people, agreed to a donation that would cover the full amount needed to secure Steven’s return to the Club. Paul, and the consortium he represents, are passionate about the Club and wanted to help in whatever way possible. Steven’s return is the best news we’ve had as fans in a long while, and I am grateful for the support from this group that made this signing a reality."
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