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Consortium claims 'financial gift' was made to secure Beattie signing but Cork City deny any involvement

The 32-year-old rejoined the club earlier this month after a spell in the US.

Steven Beattie's return was announced earlier this month
Steven Beattie's return was announced earlier this month
Image: Cork City

A CONSORTIUM OF Cork business people claims it provided a “financial gift” to secure Steven Beattie’s return to Cork City.

The SSE Airtricity League First Division club say it had no involvement in the donation, however. 

32-year-old Beattie rejoined the Leesiders earlier this month after a two-year spell in the US. 

In a statement released this morning, ex-board member and City supporter Damien Sreenan revealed he initially began an online fundraising campaign to assist in the deal as he was aware of the club’s financial constraints. 

A group including former City general manager Paul Wycherley then got involved in the initiative, which is believed to have helped Beattie gain part-time employment outside football.

‘The club was hoping to sign Steven Beattie, and in discussions with Steven, I became aware that he was excited about the prospect,” Sreenan said.

“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.

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“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.”

However, City have refuted their claims — stating that no third party was involved in the player’s contractual agreement — and labelled the move as a “publicity stunt”.

“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 towards the wages of Steven Beattie, who had recently resigned for Cork City FC,” the club’s statement reads.

“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 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.”

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