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Galway United fans apply for First Division licence with new club

The group have severed ties with the club and are now hoping to gain entrance to the Airtricity League.

It is GUST's intention to remain in Terryland Park.
It is GUST's intention to remain in Terryland Park.
Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

GALWAY UNITED SUPPORTERS Trust (GUST) have decided to break away from the club and apply for their own Airitricity League First Division licence.

At their AGM last night, GUST unanimously agreed to sever ties after calling relations with the current regime “untenable”.

The news has prompted the club’s directors to release a statement announcing the withdrawal of their application.

With staggering debts and now being unable to rely on the supporter of GUST, they explained that they have no alternative but to pull out of the league after 74-years of participation.

“Following the extremely late decision by GUST to withdraw from the transitional agreement to run Galway United Football Club, the directors are left with no option but to withdraw their application for a licence for the Airtricity League 2012 season,” the statement read.

“The ensuing 12 months will allow the club to assess strategic and infrastructural changes that are required to be made ahead of an application for the 2013 season. A decision will then be taken as to the best route forward for soccer in Galway and discussions will take place with all stakeholders.”

The move comes weeks after a disastrous season on the pitch ended, with the Tribesmen picking up just six points to finish rock bottom of the Premier Division.

And speaking to The Score this afternoon, GUST PRO Vincent O’Connor said:

“We won’t be working with the directors of Galway United Football Club. Our position has become untenable. We’ve started a new company (GUST) and we’re currently trying to get it off the ground.”

Plan

O’Connor says that the group are basing their plan on the Cork City Foras Co-op model, which saw the fan-owned break-away body join the First Division in 2010 when Cork City Investment FC was wound up.

“They (Cork) are thriving now and hopefully we can do the same,” O’Connor said.

In relation to a home ground, playing staff and management, O’Connor added that they hope to remain in Terryland Park and are involved in ongoing discussions with the Galway FA.

John Brennan will stay on as first team manager but the squad is “up in the air” until a decision on their licence application is made by the FAI.  However, O’Connor is upbeat about their chances and hopes the strong local supporter base will be a major advantage to them.

“When you look around the league, there are a number of clubs with a far smaller fan base than us. The only positive about last year was the fantastic support – we averaged about 900 at our home games.”

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