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Niall Quinn Has An Intriguing Vision For How To Revamp The League Of Ireland

Niall Quinn Has An Intriguing Vision For How To Revamp The League Of Ireland
By Conor Neville
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Game On was broadcast live from the Slieve Russell in Cavan, not exactly prime League of Ireland territory, but matters turned to the Bray Wanderers payments saga.

Niall Quinn was down to play golf with Gary Murphy and chat a bit about Italia 90. Matters turned to the League of Ireland, Tony O'Donoghue and Alan Cawley discussing the gloomy news from Bray and the rather more pleasing news that Damien Duff was signing for Shamrock Rovers.

Quinn wasn't asked directly about the League, but was determined to raise a point.

He outlined his vision as to how the League of Ireland can re-energise - one based on selling the product to emerging nations.

On the League of Ireland, I'll throw something at you here.

There's emerging countries all around the world and their TV companies are desperate for content. I know I can watch football from Chile and Honduras at 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning and that's money that's making its way from TV companies back into local football in those countries.

I would love to see a revamp of the League of Ireland on the basis that the money can be made externally.


He proffered the example of cricket in the West Indies as a model the League of Ireland should seek to emulate.

It's happened in cricket in the Caribbean. Cricket was dead in the Caribbean. People went in, they changed it all around. They revamped it, they styled it and sold it to over 50 countries around the world.

Are we big and bold enough to envisage a situation where our League is revamped? Where the problems that you talked about are taken care of on day one? That big backing comes in? That we can sell that product?

In his contribution, Tony O'Donoghue quoted Pat Fenlon as talking about the money Irish clubs can get from participation and advancement in European competition, which far exceeds the €100,000 on offer for the League winners.

Quinn argued that TV companies in far flung parts are even greater sources of revenue.

I know for a fact because I was involved with some people looking for content from African countries. And you might say, what can African countries do... they will pay more than those payments you just heard about that Tony O'Donoghue and Pat Fenlon were talking about.

History tells you it is a fantastic league, but it needs something now. This thing isn't going to happen by itself.

If we can sell rights in this country to our football, you are now on the world stage.

Read more: Video: Bray Wanderers' Players Pissed Off With Club Chairman's Soccer Republic Comments

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