Cork City have confirmed they sold their sell-on clauses for both Alan Browne and Sean Maguire to Preston North End in order to secure their Premier Division license for this year.
In return for a cash injection believed to be over €500,000, City have surrendered what could have been lucrative clauses for players who are now fully-fledged Republic of Ireland internationals.
The Rebels had an outstanding bill owed to the Revenue and the FAI informed them that if payment wasn't made, a licence would not be granted to compete in 2020.
Cork approached Preston to forfeit their clauses for an agreed sum.
City also denied that they had entered into a new formal link-up with Preston, but left the door open for such an arrangement in the future.
In a statement, the Cork City board said it it had "come to an agreement with Preston North End for the sale of the sell-on clauses for each of Alan Browne and Sean Maguire, which aided the club in securing its Premier Division license for 2020.
"The board also wishes to dismiss reports that a previously unreported tax liability was the primary driver of this decision.
"Although a full discharge was made to the Revenue Commissioners, this liability was incurred during the normal course of business and was reported as part of the overall debt figure at the last FORAS General Meeting.
"The board also wish to confirm that CCFC have not entered into a formal partnership with Preston North End, and any further decisions will be voted upon by the membership. That being said, we would like to thank Preston North End and their associates for their endeavors to get this transfer deal over the line over the past number of days.
"The board will continue to work in the best interests of Cork City Football Club and its members, which includes the exploration of any/all potential funding opportunities for the football club, which are ongoing.
"The board will make another announcement over the coming days as it pertains to the club's current position, and the AGM.
"Most importantly, we are all here to support Cork City Football Club, and our main focus should now turn to supporting our manager, Neale Fenn, and his young and hungry squad as they take on Shelbourne tomorrow night."