GALWAY United are declining to make an official comment on reports that the club is in talks with an overseas investor, but sources have confirmed that not only have talks been taking place, the initial contact was made as far back as February.
The news has split the United support, with some people saying the move would be a disaster for the club, given the problems at Athlone Town this season that have coincided with a continental investor taking a major role at the club. There have been a number of managerial changes at the club, while charges in relation to match-fixing have also been brought against the Midlands club.
Others are saying that a major investment could help develop a club that first joined the league 40 years ago next month, pointing out that if a thorough check of the investor’s credentials check out, the development should be pursued.
The FAI has been informed of the potential interest, as is required under the Club Participation Agreement, and it, along with the club’s board and main sponsor, the Comer Group, are all believed to be investigating the credentials of the interested parties.
A story in last Saturday’s Irish Times said that talks between the club and an overseas investor had been going on “for two months” and that the unnamed investor had been impressed by both the club and the city after he travelled over for a game. The news is believed to have been leaked from a source in Dublin.
However, Tribune Sport understands that contact was first made on the day of the launch of the 2017 season in February by a man based in the east of the country in relation to potential interest from two overseas investors.
The main investor is believed to be a Ukrainian national, and he has a partner involved in the plan, but while the talks process has picked up in recent weeks, no deal – if any – is expected to be agreed before the end of this season.
United could do with a cash injection, with the club expected to run up a shortfall at the end of this season as it has run into a number of financial difficulties.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.