Preston North End buy-out Cork City's sell-on clauses with Alan Browne and Sean Maguire
Preston North End have bought out the sell-on clauses Cork City had with Alan Browne and Sean Maguire.
The Lilywhites signed Browne from Cork in January 2014, the League of Ireland club agreeing a 12.5% sell-on clause at the time.
When Maguire made the same move to Deepdale in June 2017, a 15% sell-on was part of the deal.
Cork, who kick-off their season against Shelbourne at Turner's Cross on Friday night, have hit financial difficulties.
In order to secure its Premier Division license for 2020, the Rebels had to meet a tax bill and they approached North End about doing a deal over the sell-on clauses.
Peter Ridsdale, advisor to PNE owner Trevor Hemmings, and finance director Kevin Abbott travelled to Ireland last week to meet Cork officials.
It is understood that North End have paid a figure less than £500,000 to Cork to buy out the two clauses.
There have been reports in Ireland that Cork and PNE could plan to enter into a formal link-up.
However, PNE's involvement as a club in this is limited to having bought the sell-on clauses.
Whether Hemmings takes it further within his umbrella of companies is another matter.
Hemmings has strong links in the Cork area, owning the Trabolgan holiday centre and a horse racing stable.
North End have been regular visitors to that part of Ireland in pre-season over the last few years, training at Fota Island.
Last July, they played a pre-season friendly against Cork during their training camp.
While the sell-on clauses have now gone, North End sources say it is not a sign they are looking to cash in on Browne or Maguire.
But if they did move on in the future, all of the fee would now come to PNE.
Both players are under contract until June 2021 but minds will be sharpened this summer with them entering the final 12 months of their contracts.
Browne and Maguire are both established Republic of Ireland internationals and regulars in the PNE side, with Browne skippering the side of late.