Tuesday 16 January 2018

Gavin defends decision to move Limerick league opener

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

LEAGUE of Ireland chief Fran Gavin has defended the decision to move Limerick's Thomond Park opener with Cork City to tomorrow week for television purposes, and claimed that Limerick believe the attendance could be somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000.

The Munster derby was originally scheduled for Friday night and a large attendance was expected as Limerick return to the top flight and begin life in their temporary home.

However, RTE selected the game for live coverage and forced a move to the Sunday with a 5.15 kick-off as they are broadcasting the Ireland-France U-20 Six Nations encounter on Friday.

That brings the Limerick v Cork tie into a direct clash with the Premier League clash of Liverpool and Spurs and the FA Cup meeting of Manchester United and Chelsea.

It is also a crowded weekend of GAA and Six Nations activity.

"It's important we have a live game that weekend," said Gavin. "I still think it will be a significant gate as it's a huge game. It's a big city and they love their football.

Gavin was speaking at the launch of the 2013 Airtricity League campaign where he stressed the positives of last year, reporting that clubs made a collective profit of €241,544 across the campaign.

On the flip side, Monaghan United did drop out of the Premier Division during the year and, while Gavin feels that no other club will follow suit, he acknowledged that it's hard to make definite predictions in the current economic climate.

The future of the First Division is constantly up for discussion with just eight teams participating at that level in 2013.

A move to one league has support in parts of the country, but Gavin feels that promotion/ relegation is the way to go for now.

Irish Independent

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