Jon Daly speaks out against buyout clauses

The Saints boss shared his thoughts on buyout clauses after losing Tommy Lonergan to Fleetwood Town. 

The Clondalkin native admitted that he feels buyout clauses devalue the League of Ireland and insists players going forward who seek one in their contract will not play in his squad.

Tommy Lonergan became the latest player to leave the Inchicore side overseas last week, signing for English League One Fleetwood Town whose sister club Waterford are back in the Premier Division for 2024.

The Blues had been trying to agree a deal with St Pat’s for the 20-year-old, but the Dublin 8 club were reluctant to sell to a Premier Division rival. 

However, Fleetwood made an offer for the striker and activated his release clause of €60,000 which applied to offers outside of Ireland.

While Waterford head coach Keith Long revealed they had no role in the transfer of the youngster, he didn’t rule out the possibility of Lonergan arriving in the crystal city on loan this season.

Daly feels the striker, who scored in November’s FAI Cup final triumph, would benefit more staying with St. Pats, and speaks out says the league should be firmer on buyout clauses in future.

Speaking to the Irish Sun at the League of Ireland Launch at Vicar Street on Wednesday, Daly said: “It’s something we have to learn from, to make sure we don’t have clauses in contracts going forward.” 

“It’s up to the player once that clause is activated, to decide if he wants to go. He (Lonergan) felt it was the right one for him. Whether I agree with that or not is by the by. I felt he probably could have got a better move at a later stage, but the advice from them was to take this one. 

“I think there are players in the league who are worth more than their buy-out clauses.

“I think it’s important, not just (for) ourselves as a club, but the league as a whole, we should be more firm on them. I think, ultimately, clubs can come in and take players for little or nothing. 

“There are a lot of players in the league worth a lot more than they are going for, especially when I compare them to players in European leagues, who probably aren’t as good or at the same level and are going for six and seven figures.

​“So, we won’t be putting any clauses in players’ contracts going forward. If anyone wants a clause in their contract, they won’t be signing for St Pat’s. We’ve had (potential) players request it and we told them, ‘No, it’s not going in it’," he added.

It’s not ideal in the sense that we’re trying to grow the league and get the right value for players going forward. The only way you do that is to have the players under contract, with decent contracts.”

At the league launch, it was announced that there will be 48 League of Ireland games shown live on TV this year.