Football

IFA Deals Serious Blow To Plans For All-Island League

IFA Deals Serious Blow To Plans For All-Island League

The Irish Football Association says that it will not allow its clubs to join the All-Island League proposed Kieran Lucid.

Clubs from both sides of the border met in Dundalk last week to hear proposals from the Kerry businessman. Those proposals included €800,000 in prize money for the league's winners along with projected revenue of between €6m and €10m.

"Having listened to the proposals from Mr Lucid and his team, we believe the best interests of our member clubs and football in Northern Ireland are better served by remaining with the club-led model established in 2013 via the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL)," the IFA said in a statement.

"NIFL has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2013 and continues to attract increased sponsorship and funding.

"The present distribution model, unanimously agreed by all clubs, ensures all 12 teams in the Danske Bank Premiership benefit from the prize fund.

"This has created a balanced league which has seen a substantial increase in attendances, awareness and television coverage. The potential income figures quoted in Mr Lucid’s proposals are highly speculative and lack specificity or guarantees.

"UEFA competition places, prize monies and youth solidarity funding are important to our clubs and we do not wish to put these in question.

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"We greatly value our association and club links with the Football Association of Ireland and are happy to both take part in, and enhance, cross-border cup competitions at all levels.

"We already have the new Unite the Union Champions’ Cup, played for between the champions of the Irish League and League of Ireland, the Presidents’ Cup for Junior sides in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and a proposed new intermediate level competition."

Further talks regarding the league were due to take place before the end of the year. Where the IFA's declaration leaves those discussions is uncertain.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

See Also: Ireland Internationals Criticise Derby For Sacking Richard Keogh

PJ Browne
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