UPDATED AT 18:34 - The FAI have launched an investigation into Athlone Town after a detailed report was received from UEFA highlighting irregular betting patterns. Read more here: Athlone investigated by the FAI.
Former Athlone Town manager Mick Cooke has urged FAI’s director of competitions Fran Gavin to closely monitor the current situation at the club.
The club were said to have secured financial backing from a Portugal based investor before the season started.
The identity of this mysteries backer was never revealed, but reports indicated that the person in question was involved with a portfolio of clubs around the world, including in China.
Portuguese coaches Ricardo Cravo and Jose Ferreira joined Colin Fortune on the coaching staff as Ricardo Monsanto was named manager.
He left on April 20th after six weeks in charge while the club also confirmed Fortune’s departure last week.
Former boss Mick Cooke believes the current situation needs to be scrutinised by the powers that be:
“Nobody seems to know,” Cooke told 98FM’s League of Ireland podcast when asked what was going on at his former club.
“Even Colin Fortune is gone out of it, when you think of it a club that has massive potential, a lovely stadium, fantastic ground, and the best of everything.
“They have new investors but nobody seems to know who they are, they’ve a lot of foreign players, where they came from or if they’re going to college in Athlone nobody seems to know what they’re about.
“They’re a mystery at the moment and something Mr Gavin will have to keep an eye on.”
The club are second from bottom in the first division of the SSE Airtricity League, they've lost 6 of their first 10 games.
Gavin told the Irish Examiner back in March that he was keeping close tabs on the ongoing situation at the midlands club: “I have met the new investors in Athlone and they are quite ambitious”.
“We’ve never experienced that type of investment in a club where they’re bringing players in from all over Europe. You wonder about their motivation, so that’s something we’ve to look at very carefully.