Football

Derry City Urge All Irish Clubs To Support All-Island League Proposal

Derry City Urge All Irish Clubs To Support All-Island League Proposal

Derry City have released a statement which urges all clubs on the island of Ireland to back proposals for an all-island league.

The Candystripes, in their statement, announced their support for a report produced by Hypercube on behalf of the All-Island League Advocacy Group, which outlines a framework for the creation of an all-island league stemming from the current structures of the Irish League and League of Ireland.

The League of Ireland club expressed their support for the report which showcased "research, understanding... and the weight of the financial benefits for all stakeholders that would result from the recommendations".

The club also remarked on their "unique" position within football in Ireland, being the only cross-border club in the professional ranks of the game on the island. The club's statement argues that amidst the current backdrop of uncertainty in football, it represents a "seminal moment" for the well-being and existence of professional football on the island.

The statement urges other clubs to showcase their support for the report, particularly due to the understanding that the IFA and FAI will jointly examine the report.

"That examination will be more authoritative if those two organisations are aware of the extent of the support that exists within the island among the clubs for an expression of professional football that is vibrant and capable of achieving the same support and success of comparable leagues."

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The statement also recognises the historical animosity which existed between both the FAI and IFA, but also lambasts the two governing bodies for not having their domestic leagues at the fore of their agendas.

"The historical relationships between the two leagues and their governing bodies, the IFA in Northern Ireland and the FAI in the south, have not been as constructive and creative as most clubs might have wished. We understand the natural tensions that often exist between governing bodies and clubs but it is time to acknowledge the tenuous state of both Leagues and to recognise that neither the FAI or the IFA have had the local leagues at the top of their ambitions."

Derry City's statement is the first public support for Kieran Lucid's plans, which were announced on April 26.

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Sean Meehan

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