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Irish Leagues


Schoolboy club seek league place

Total Dublin schoolboy side St. Kevin's Boys are considering applying for a place for a senior side in the League of Ireland.   It's a response to being denied a place in the new national under-17 league.  They were told that there were too many Dublin sides already.

League of Ireland in trouble

League of Ireland clubs continue to face big financial challenges.   A number of clubs have gone bankrupt and others have only just survived.   Bray Wanderers (a club whose ground I have visited) are the latest club in trouble.

More financial troubles at Glentoran

Glentoran are regarded as one of Northern Ireland's leading football clubs, but once again they have hit financial problems.   The players have not been paid their wages for October.

Last year the club received £450,000 from a mystery donor to keep them afloat and more recently they have received an emergency loan from the Irish FA.

The Gareth Farrelly case

One of the most interesting presentations at last week's Sport and EU conference was by footballer Gareth Farrelly, badged as from Edgehill University.    In March 2007 Cork City asked Fifa to make an exception to the then rules on player registration.  Farrelly had already played in matches for two different clubs in the period between July 2006 and March 2007 and so would be ineligible to play for Cork until July 2007.   It should be noted that summer football had been introduced in Ireland.

Glentoran survive

We don't often have any stories about football in Northern Ireland.   Glentoran is one of the best known teams there, even more so when Matty Burrows was recently up for the FIFA Goal of the Year award.  He didn't get it, but his amazing back flick was widely viewed on the internet.   Moreover, it wasn't a fluke, as he showed in a demonstration session.

Irish crisis hits football

The financial crisis in Ireland has hit the country's Football Association hard.   Twelve staff have been redundant and others are going to have to take pay cuts of 2.5 or 5 per cent.   The Association undertook the re-development of Lansdowne Road when the country's economic was booming.   However, they have had to discount seats at international fixtures and attendances have been disappointing.

Debt worries in Ireland

A big story in the financial pages in the past week has been the state of the Irish economy and whether it can continue to fund its debts given the state of some of the country's banks in the aftermath of the collapse of the 'Celtic Tiger' boom.  These concerns extend to the Football Association of Ireland  (FAI) which has debts of €50m, although it made a profit of €5m last year and insists it is on track to pay them all off by 2020.

Football in Ireland hit by recession

Football in England has come through the recession relatively unscathed.   There have been some spectacular collapses, not least at Portsmouth, but these are arguably more the result of poor management than the condition of the game as a whole.   There have been some losses of corporate hospitality revenue and season ticket sales have fallen.  The transfer market this summer was more subdued, although still quiet resilient.   On the whole, football, particularly at the highest level, has been remarkably recession proof.

Northern Ireland clubs given financial warning

I would have to admit that my knowledge of football in the north of Ireland is relatively limited.  Attendances tend to be relatively low and many football fans follow clubs in Scotland or England or even actively support them.    Clubs there have presumably never been in a position to splash out on players.   It is therefore interesting that a warning has been issued to clubs there to watch their finances.

Cork City's Money Problems Rock Eircom League

Cork City has become the latest Eircom League of Ireland club to face financial problems. In a season that has already seen Cobh Rangers, Sligo Rovers, Galway United and Kildrae County facing serious problems, the situation at Cork is worrying for the League of Ireland as a whole. Cork City is one of the biggest and best supported teams in the league, so its fate will be a warning for the rest of the clubs, that no team is safe from financial difficulties. 'It's hard to understand, I can't get my head around it,' admitted Fran Gavin, director of the Eircom League.