Friday 17 January 2020

FAI board to discuss Shamrock Rovers 'B' plan

Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers manager Stephen Bradley. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The board of the FAI will today meet to discuss the National League Executive Committee's decision to allow Shamrock Rovers enter a 'B' side into the League of Ireland First Division.

Second-tier clubs are unhappy with the proposal that would see a Rovers reserve side take the place vacated by the departure of Limerick.

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The idea was approved by the National League Executive Committee at a meeting yesterday but the First Division members of that group voiced their opposition to the plan- however they found themselves outnumbered.

Power now lies in the hands of the FAI board who need to ratify the proposal before fixtures can be released.

The Alliance of First Division clubs outlined their problems last week, putting forward the view that it would 'demean' the existence of their league if second-string sides were permitted to compete.

They fear it sets a precedent for other top-flight sides to follow the lead set by Rovers.

It's understood there are members of the FAI board in favour of letting Rovers in for an initial period of one year to ensure there is an even number of teams in the division.

But they would prefer a solution in Limerick to be found over the next 12 months.

The Rovers 'B' team would not be eligible for promotion or to participate in cup competitions and conditions would be put in place to restrict movement between the back-up side and Stephen Bradley's first team.

Angry voices within the First Division group have floated the idea of boycotting games against Rovers or looking at legal avenues but they would have to meet to decide on a formal course of action if the idea gets the green light.

It's a further matter to consider for the FAI top brass that are expecting to discuss information on the identity of the four independent directors that are due to join the top table - with one becoming the new chair.

Meanwhile, Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has welcomed the prospect of Darren Randolph joining West Ham and again indicated that Adam Idah is in his thoughts after his FA Cup heroics.

Ireland assistant Terry Connor will go to watch Norwich play Manchester United at the weekend with a view to seeing the teenager.

"He's put himself right into our thoughts," said McCarthy, who told fai.ie that Randolph's relocation is "a good move for Darren and that makes it good news for Ireland."

Irish Independent

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