FAI joins reconvened 'working group' to plot a future for the League of Ireland

Thu, Apr 16 2020
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None Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

The FAI and National League Executive Committee have re-established the working group for plotting a sustainable future for the League of Ireland.

The working group was previously convened in July while the association was under the temporary management of Noel Mooney, though the FAI didn’t take an active part in its discussions.

A nine-team committee representing the then-20 clubs in the League of Ireland featured delegates from Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Galway United, Shamrock Rovers, and Sligo Rovers.

They considered proposals from Niall Quinn’s Visionary Group and Kieran Lucid, for an All-Ireland league, as well as discussing other challenges facing the league.

The reconvened committee will retain the previous membership but will be augmented with the addition of the FAI under the guidance of interim CEO Gary Owens and deputy CEO NQuinn.

“Today’s meeting was hugely positive and progressive,” said NLEC chairperson Noel Byrne.

“The clubs are delighted to get the Working Group up and running again and the addition of FAI representation signifies the Association’s intent to work with the clubs on a brighter future for Irish football. We welcome this outcome.”

Quinn added: “Today’s meeting with the NLEC was really productive. There is a lot of optimism now about where the SSE Airtricity League can go and the Association will give this Working Group our full support.

“I talk a lot about the art of the possible and so much is possible now for our game as the Working Group puts together a roadmap for the future that we can present to all 19 League clubs with confidence and excitement.

“All the stakeholders are committed to driving this agenda forward. The clubs have given the Working Group a mandate to investigate all possibilities for our game.

“We look forward to working with the clubs and engaging with UEFA, FIFA, Government, players and sponsors to offer the best future possible for our League and our players.

“These are challenging times for Ireland and for Irish sport with the current COVID-19 lockdown but we will do everything we can to ensure our League is ready to prosper when football returns.”

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