Sunday 24 September 2017

League of Ireland facing chaos after licence farce

Should Bray Wanderers provide more detailed information on their proposed revenue streams for the forthcoming season by Monday's deadline, a re-drafted Premier Division licence application is expected to be successful. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Should Bray Wanderers provide more detailed information on their proposed revenue streams for the forthcoming season by Monday's deadline, a re-drafted Premier Division licence application is expected to be successful. Photo: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

Garry Doyle

Bray Wanderers' status as a top-flight club is in limbo following a decision by the FAI's Club Licensing Committee not to award the Wicklow team with a Premier Division licence.

However, should the club provide more detailed information on their proposed revenue streams for the forthcoming season by Monday's deadline, a re-drafted application is expected to be successful.

Athlone Town and Cobh Ramblers have also less than a week to resubmit their applications to the FAI after both clubs failed to be awarded a First Division licence yesterday.

Should they fail to get one by Monday's deadline, then the First Division would be in total chaos, populated by just six clubs, including newcomers Cabinteely.

Like Bray, however, the expectation from within both Athlone and Cobh is that their second draft will be successful and a crisis will be averted.

Bray, Athlone and Cobh aren't the only League of Ireland clubs experiencing difficulties right now.

Premier Division Limerick - due to return to their historic home, the Markets Field, at the start of the season- received a major setback yesterday when they were told to close the ground's doors for the month of March because of health and safety issues.

Concerns

Club chairman Pat O'Sullivan confirmed last night that the club is in talks with the Limerick Enterprise Development Partnerships to resolve those concerns.

"Having consulted with the design team, contractors, the local authority and statutory bodies, LEDP, in conjunction with the related parties, has decided that due to health and safety and initial capacity concerns, the Markets Field Stadium will not be available for play in the short term," said O'Sullivan.

"We hope this will be resolved quickly."

A temporary return to Thomond Park, where they played last season, is expected.

Limerick's plan is to return to the Markets Field by the start of April.

In other news, Pete Mahon, the former Bohemians, UCD and St Patrick's Athletic manager has been appointed assistant manager to Johnny McDonnell at Drogheda United, alongside former Ireland star Mark Kinsella.

Meanwhile, Sunderland's Irish international, John O'Shea, believes his club can escape their latest relegation battle, after their season plummeted to a new low following their FA Cup defeat to Bradford City last Sunday.

"We're not going to allow an FA Cup defeat to get in the way of what we know we need to do in the league," said O'Shea.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport