Keegan head-fried as Saudis swoop in for takeover talks

With three defeats in four SSE Airtricity League first division games, these are worrying times for Galway United, who are also the subject of a potential takeover bid.

Next Monday at the Connacht Hotel members of the Galway United Friends Co-operative will decide whether to pass a motion seeking approval of a third party investment.

Galway United representatives are believed to have met with a Saudi Arabian consortium, which is eager to take a controlling share of the club, which is currently fan owned.

It would represent a significant change in direction if the motion is carried on Monday, and members are expected to be provided with further details on the possible takeover bid. If the consortium is successful, it is believed the co-op will still be entitled to some representation on a new board of directors.

At present Galway United field teams at senior, under 19, 17, and 15 level in national competition, which is having financial implications.

The vote, which is expected to be held on Monday, will shape the future of Galway United, who travel to Ferrycarrig Park for a crucial contest against Wexford FC.

The last game before the mid season break carries importance for United, who suffered a demoralising 2-1 defeat against Finn Harps at Eamonn Deacy Park last Friday. The poor run has caused manager Shane Keegan some sleepless nights.

“I don't mind saying that I have tried every trick in the book over the last couple of weeks,” Keegan admits. “During a run like this you have sleepless night after sleepless night. You are literally changing anything that can be changed. If it can be changed it is done differently.

"Group team talks weren't working, so I spent Tuesday and Wednesday having 15 minute individual chats with every player in the starting XI to explain their role.

“We changed up everything we did in training on Thursday. I'm not putting that forward as a defence, what I'm trying to say is while it mightn't be showing out on the pitch, there is absolutely no stone left unturned.

Keegan was 100 per cent sure United were going to get the win.

"Everything we did in the build up had me convinced we were going to get the performance that we needed, and we didn't. I'm not going to give any excuses for that.”

Despite United’s current problems Keegan is remains adamant a top four finish can be secured to earn a promotion play/off berth.

“It is physically impossible for any more thought or energy to be spent in trying to turn things around at the moment,” Keegan says.

“You know when you don't have the dressing room, but the killing thing is, in my opinion, it would be very easy to fix it if the reason it is happening is because I don't have the dressing room behind me. That is not the case.

“They are absolutely behind what we are trying to do, but for one reason or another it isn't happening for us. The minimum requirement is a play-off position. We are the same amount of points behind that position as we were at the beginning of Friday night.”


Keegan has identified the need to be more clinical in Wexford as a key issue.

“I think we had a 20 minute spell at the end of the first half where I thought we were getting all the combination play, we were doing everything we wanted in the final third bar that final pass getting someone through,” Keegan states.

“Again it was far, far from a fantastic performance, but I don't think it was a performance where we deserved to lose the game. When we went two nil behind the gameplan went out the window - then you are trying to get the ball into the final third as quickly as you possibly can.

“That doesn't suit us. We are just conspiring to lose games in so many different ways at the moment that it is just absolutely head-frying.”


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