The 2017 League of Ireland season in the first Division could be about to get a lot more interesting. The competition will kick off in three weeks, however already one of the local clubs are generating plenty of publicity ahead of the big kick off.
Local teams, Longford Town and their deadly rivals Athlone Town will lock horns in the first division in 2017 after Longford were relegated last season. The City Calling based side will be managed by Alan Mathews, who ironically was in charge of the Athlone team this time last season and eventually parted company with Midland outfit after a lot of well documented problems.
Fast forward to the spring of 2017 and a turnaround in the fortunes of Athlone could be about to take place, there is increasing speculation that the Westmeath based side is on the verge of securing major financial investment from Portugal.
Sources close to the club are indicating that a Portuguese investor who is involved with a portfolio of clubs around the world, including in China as well as his native country is poised to play a key role in the club operations from now on.
This will come as a welcome boost to the Club’s supporter’s after they have endured some difficult times since their last golden ere which was masterminded by Roddy Collins.
The investor wishes to remain anonymous at this stage.
It’s also been suggested that a number of foreign players from different European countries could be playing for Athlone in the season ahead.
Although Town have not officially commented on any proposed investment.
Shannonside Sport also understand that the takeover will not be an outright takeover of the club and won’t dramatically alter the present make-up of the club committee.
Whereas there is no official confirmation of any proposed investment, well know and highly respected local soccer journalist, John Dingle says that there is foundation to the story. He feels it will be a huge boost to Athlone Town FC and also expects that the mystery investor obviously see potential in Athlone. Dingle concluded that the success of Dundalk in Europe recently could also be another factor in potential investors looking at getting involved in the league of Ireland.
John Dingle has been updating the Shannonside sports department on the latest from this breaking story: