Rovers set to be restructured to facilitate loan investment

By Brendan Grehan

SHAMROCK ROVERS are to be restructured to facilitate an investment from long-time shareholder Ray Wilson.

Setanta chief executive Michael O’Rourke and Hyundai Ireland’s managing director will both join Rovers’ board following the club’s forthcoming AGM after club members approved the restructure to facilitate Wilson’s investment.

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Wilson will be now entitled to appoint four directors to the nine-strong board and he has brought in O’Rourke and Gleeson.

Wilson via the Wilson Family Trust and the Pepper Group’s Seumas Dawes will loan the club €1.5 million. Two-thirds of the loan will provide the funds required for the development of Rovers’ new academy at the Cement Roadstone Sports and Social club at Kingswood.

The remaining funds will be used for the day-to-day running of the club. Under the deal, top-class facilities will be provided for the academy. The loan is interest free and is due to be repaid by 2026.

Both Wilson and Dawes have provided guarantees that they will neither pass the loan on to a third party or, in the event that the club is unable to come up with the funds in 10 years’ time, force Rovers into examinership or liquidation.

A life-long supporter of the club, Wilson already played a role in helping the club out of examinership in 2005 and, as was the case then, the new arrangement allows for him to end up owning 50 per cent of the club with this stake halving upon repayment of the loan.

His father Jack was a director and club president, as well as a key founding member of the 400 Club.

Wilson left Ireland for Australia in 1985 and is a founding director of the Plenary Group, a company that specialises in the provision of finance for major infrastructure projects.

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