Saturday 3 December 2016

Aviva date beckons as Dundalk wait on draw

Published 05/08/2016 | 02:30

Stephen Kenny’s side will definitely be moving to Ballsbridge in their attempt to reach the group stage as it was the only suitable venue in the region for this stage of the competition. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile
Stephen Kenny’s side will definitely be moving to Ballsbridge in their attempt to reach the group stage as it was the only suitable venue in the region for this stage of the competition. Photo: David Maher/Sportsfile

Dundalk will wait until after the outcome of today's Champions League play-off draw before confirming the logistics of their move to the Aviva Stadium for the home leg.

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However, Stephen Kenny's side will definitely be moving to Ballsbridge in their attempt to reach the group stages as it is the only suitable venue in the region for this stage of the competition.

Dundalk will play either Celtic, APOEL Nicosia, Legia Warsaw, Red Bull Salzburg and Viktoria Plzen.

Celtic offer the only realistic chance of selling out the 51,000 venue and the outcome of the draw will determine how many sections of the ground are opened.

The Lilywhites will have little time to seriously reflect on the lunchtime draw as they will be preparing for tonight's League of Ireland clash with Galway United.

With fixture congestion arising from their success set to add a major complication to their title defence, Kenny's side will have to show mental strength to come down to earth.

Meanwhile, Derry City chief executive, Sean Barrett has said the club will refuse the FAI's offer of a €5,000 grant to help with five-year strategic plan and described the gesture as "disgraceful" and "disrespectful".

At their AGM last weekend, the association announced that up to €100,000 would be split between the 20 clubs.

The size of the offer has been criticised when placed in comparison with the €11m they netted from participation in Euro 2016 and the fact that it effectively boils down to €20 per week over the period in question.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes Jose Mourinho's treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger could dissuade players from joining Manchester United as the manager was accused of "clear bullying" that warranted a prison sentence.

Schweinsteiger has been banished from United's first team dressing room by Mourinho and instructed to train with the U-21s, the Portuguese ushering the German World Cup winner to the exit door as he paves the way for Paul Pogba's impending arrival.

Mourinho's handling of Schweinsteiger will not be enough to deter Pogba from moving to Old Trafford and United could announce a world-record £100m agreement with Juventus for the France midfielder today.

But Rummenigge believes other players could be put off a move to United by Mourinho's actions, with the Bayern chairman's stern rebuke echoed by a member of the world players' union, FifPro, Dejan -Stefanovic, who rather hysterically claimed the former Chelsea manager should go to jail.

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