'There was no official discussion, communication or even an email in relation to this' - Cabinteely chairman Larry Bass

Thu, Jan 09 2020

Prior to the news breaking of Shamrock Rovers II’s admission into the 2020 First Division, Cabinteely chairman Larry Bass has criticised the lack of communication from the FAI regarding the way in which the proposal was handled.

The Hoops received confirmation that their second string side would take part in the First Division on Thursday evening.

“I think what angst all of the clubs have is the way that is has been done,” Bass told RTE’s Game On 2FM on Wednesday evening.

“There has been a lot of talk about corporate governance in the FAI, and over the last few years – I think that is the area where there is the most room for improvement.

“And, unfortunately, this episode – hasn’t filled the FAI and the NLEC with glory in the way they have looked after all of this.

“Whatever happened in the NLEC happened without the consultation of all of the club. There was no official discussion, communication or even an email in relation to this.

“And I think for any major significant change that is going to affect all the club’s, all the fans and everything.

“What we’re to do is create a fantastic experience for the fans and build the First Division as a key part of the League of Ireland.

“This is – as I said to the Minister last Friday, is the beating heart of Irish football. If we get the League of Ireland right, every boat of football rises. It’s the place to develop players.

“It is spread right across the county and if it is working very well it serves everyone very well – and unfortunately when Shamrock Rovers had a B team in it before, the other clubs didn’t get a benefit out of it when the B team of Shamrock Rovers came to play a game.

“We’re a very small club, we have to rent our pitches. We’ve got a great relationship with Blackrock Rugby Club but that’s a commercial relationship.

“We then have to rent the pitch, bring in security and pay them for all of our games.

“We’ve a great team of volunteers and every matchday they have to come in. when there’s a game on, you do that for the benefit of a competitive league where there’s real momentum,” Bass said.

The Green and White’s chairman added; “But, when you have a team like a B team that can’t get promoted, the whole thing just rings hollow and it’s not going to add to the game.

“The only reason given to us for adding the B team in is to make up the numbers to replace Limerick who unfortunately struggled financially wise as we all do every single week.

“I know there are moves in Limerick to re-finance and find a different vehicle to have a team from Limerick back in the League in some time in the future.

“If we bring a B team in from any Premier Division team, that place may not be available. And we can work out a fixture list – accommodating nine teams – previously there was only eight teams in the First Division.

“So, the need for bringing in a B team it just doesn’t make any sense. I’m speaking as someone who grew up as a huge fan of Shamrock Rovers – this is not an anti-Shamrock Rovers thing.

“This is just looking at what is in the best interest of the League or Ireland, the FAI, football in Ireland and in our case, Cabinteely.

“There’s no upside for Cabinteely, and talking to all of the other clubs, there’s no upside for them.

“Why go ahead and do something when every single club is adamant that they’re 100% opposed to it?”