'Brand expert', Jonathan Gabay was brought in by the FAI to review the League of Ireland and suggest how it can improve itself as a brand. It's not known how much money Mr.Gabay received from Irish football's governing body but, according to his website, Gabay charges £7,000 for speeches. It's likely that his services did not come cheap.
The brand strategy report was met with disdain among the footballing community as he declared that 'under John Delaney, it's been amazing and I say that independently'. That is not a sentence you want to utter if you're attempting to endear supporters of Irish football.
It was met with criticism - some unnecessarily harsh - but for the most part, the supporters' outrage appeared justified. It was largely viewed as an insult to the league and the supporters of each respective club.
The following evening, Gabay announced that he had to block certain individuals due to him receiving what he called 'vile anti-semitic tweets'.
Due to vile antisemtic tweets I had to block my account to some. I have a family. I understand there are questions about my recent report..
— Jonathan Gabay (@jjgabay) December 16, 2016
'The League Is So Special To Me'
This morning, 98FM broadcasted an interview with Jonathan Gabay where he expanded on certain statements in the branding report. Having spent 12 weeks reviewing domestic Irish football, it appears that the league grew on the Englishman. Gabay also made further suggestions as to how the league can appeal to a wider audience.
The league is so special to me 'cause it's not just about the wonderful heroes on the field. It's also about the heroes who have business in local places.
When I was here - I went to a lot of games, I can assure you - one of the things that really struck me is that you can literally reach out and touch these people. It's fantastic. You can't do that in the UK, you know.
It's here that you got the best league. You got authenticity. You got heritage. You got it all.
It is a struggle for every club. Not every club is Dundalk. Because it's a struggle for these clubs, that's exactly why I'm recommending that they follow these guidelines, 'cause I want them to prosper.
League Director, Fran Gavin, who was also speaking to 98FM, said that the FAI will review the suggestions in the coming months and implement any changes that they view as being beneficial for the domestic game.
There has been a huge amount of improvements in the league [since the FAI have taken over], there are still further improvements to be made.
Part of that improvement is looking at the league generally from lots of different angles. That's what we saw today, he sees it from the bigger picture. That is his opinion.