In January 2008, former Longford Town boss Alan Mathews became manager, and the club signed several players – including taking advantage of FIFA’s changes to the “3 club” rule by re-signing George O’Callaghan from Ipswich Town. However O’Callaghan was later released in July. City were knocked out of the first qualifying round in European competition by FC Haka. While David Mooney retained the league’s top scorer spot, City failed to take points from Bohemians or St. Pats and finished fifth in the league. The club did however gain some silverware, beating Glentoran in the Setanta Sports Cup final.
Off the pitch the club suffered a considerable threat when, in August 2008, after investment difficulties with venture capital firm Arkaga, the club entered into examinership. With rising debts, cost cutting measures were implemented. Under related rules, the club was deducted 10 points in the league. In October 2008 the High Court ruled in favour of Tom Coughlan’s bid to take over the club, and ended the examinership.
Note 1: Cork City deducted 10 points due to the club’s holding company entering administration.
Note 2: Drogheda United deducted 10 points due to the holding company entering administration.
League of Ireland Premier Division 2008
|2||St. Patrick's Athletic||33||20||6||7||48||24||24||66|
|5||Cork City [Note 1]||33||15||11||7||45||28||17||46|
|8||Drogheda United [Note 2]||33||12||9||12||38||32||6||35|
|10||Finn Harps (R)||33||9||4||20||26||53||−27||31|
|11||Cobh Ramblers (R)||33||6||8||19||27||55||−28||26|