Championship side Preston North End are in talks about the possibility of investing in Cork City FC, a report from The Irish Times has claimed.
The Lancashire side have enjoyed a good relationship with Cork over recent years, with current first-team regulars Alan Browne and Sean Maguire among several players to move to Deepdale from the League of Ireland outfit in recent years.
Alex Neil’s side also played Cork in a friendly last summer, and it seems the link between the two clubs now has the potential to grow even further.
According to the latest reports, representatives from Preston travelled to Ireland on Tuesday to continue discussions over a potential agreement between the two clubs.
Cork are reported to have endured a difficult year financially in 2019, and it is thought they were forced to pay around €88,000 in penalties and unpaid taxes last year, which is said to have partly been down to a misunderstanding of rules and regulations.
As a result, the club are now looking for new investment, which Preston could be able to offer, although it is said that any deal would have to be agreed to by members of the Cork City board, while suggestions of a complete takeover have apparently been dismissed.
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Last season, Cork finished eighth in the ten-team Irish top-flight, although they were comfortably clear of both the automatic relegation and promotion/relegation play-off spots.
This may not be a bad idea for Preston.
You imagine such an investment would put North End in pole position when it comes to signing players from Cork, and having already unearthed some decent players in Browne and Maguire, that could be an appealing prospect for the Championship club.
It could potentially also help Preston to develop some of their young players, giving them a potential destination for loan moves in order to enjoy more regular first-team football.
However, Preston will have to be careful not to become over-involved in such a deal, lest it distract from some of their other financial commitments, both from a football and non-football perspective.