PETE MAHON believes the Airtricity League has gone backwards on the back of gambling on European success, comparing Bohemians' current plight with the Irish economic crisis in a wide-ranging rant yesterday, WRITES NEIL AHERN.
Bohemians boss Pat Fenlon has admitted that the club will have to make drastic cuts after they failed to qualify for the third qualification round of the Champions League following their heavy defeat to Welsh side TNS, conceding that players will have to be let go in the coming weeks.
The case of clubs going for gold on the continent but instead going broke has been a regular feature of Irish football and recent years, with Cork City, Derry City and Shelbourne all plunging into financial chaos, and St Patrick's Athletic manager Mahon thinks it has ruined the domestic game.
"Definitely, it's been proven. We've gone bloody well backwards here. We had a little bit of glory. We've had instances when we've hit the bar, the closest was probably Bohs against Red Bull last year, that was a catastrophe at the very end," said the former St Francis boss.
"Overall, we never qualified. If Bohemians are running their affairs on the European money, that's a case of 'live horse and you'll get grass'.
"I would have (sympathy for Bohemians) because there are a lot of players who have been through the mill before at different clubs and now they're back to square one.
"But you can't run a business on what might be, that is what has this country in the s**t that it's in.
"If we buy six acres of land for €100m . . . look at the glass bottle site. I rest my case."
Mahon also hit out at the Airtricity League's weekly TV programme 'Monday Night Soccer', saying that he didn't believe "it's brought one extra person to the games".