Croke Park to take over running of Páirc Uí Chaoimh

December 14, 2018

Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork.
©INPHO/Tommy Dickson.

Croke Park is to take over the running of Páirc Uí Chaoimh after it emerged that the cost of redeveloping the Cork stadium was €110 million, almost €25 million over budget.

Croke Park stadium manager Peter McKenna said that an "experienced management team" was needed to manage the debt over a 10-15 year period.

"It became clear in the middle of the year that the amount spent on the stadium way exceeded what people thought," he told the Irish Examiner.

"We’re probably close to €110 million as a final cost, and what was the ability to pay that?

"In order to stem the debt or put a shape to it, we needed an experienced management team involved. I think if it wasn’t an aligned set-up you’d be talking about a receivership or something like that. The ability to pay that amount of money back wasn’t there, but that’s not how we operate as an organisation."

McKenna said the huge overspend could have impacted on Cork's county teams if Croke Park hadn't stepped in.

"That’s a matter for the county board - but that’s where this problem was heading," he continued.

"There was massive debt and the stadium debt needed to be untangled from the county board accounts. The most important things are the teams, not the stadium. Looking at the stadium as a separate unit, which is now solvent, with the executive well represented on the board, is by far the best way to do it."

The Longford native also revealed that the Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch, which came in for fierce criticism this year, would have to be replaced, but that this may not happen until 2020.

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