Tuesday 21 January 2020

FAI to fully finance proposed emergency fund to assist League of Ireland clubs unable to pay their players

Cork City captain Alan Bennett lifts the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division trophy after the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Cork City and Bray Wanderers at Turners Cross, in Cork.
Cork City captain Alan Bennett lifts the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division trophy after the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match between Cork City and Bray Wanderers at Turners Cross, in Cork.

John Fallon

The FAI have opted to create an emergency fund of €300,000 accessible to League of Ireland players whose contracts aren’t honoured by clubs.

Last Wednesday, after the association had requested the Players Football Association of Ireland (PFAI) to provide 50pc of the proposed funding, the union claimed they hadn’t been consulted and denounced the notion as insulting to their members.

FAI League Director Fran Gavin insisted the PFAI possessed the resources to co-fund the reserve pot, the idea for which arose after monthly wages were two weeks late being paid to players at Bray Wanderers and Limerick FC.

Last night, the FAI claimed they chose to go solo only after a deadline for the PFAI to respond passed.

They informed clubs of the following conditions attached.

An immediate six-point deduction will apply should a club be unable to pay their players on time and the fund is activated. They will have a transfer embargo imposed.

Furthermore, should that club not repay the monies by the end of the season, they will automatically be relegated with a registration ban applying for their season in the First Division. A First Division club who fails to pay the money back will be docked six points.

In response, the PFAI’s solicitor Stuart Gilhooly welcomed the development, albeit noted they first learned of it on RTE’s Soccer Republic programme. “Nothing new there,” said Gilhooly.

Some prominent League of Ireland players haven’t been so warm to the introduction of a safety-net.

Dundalk captain Brian Gartland said: “I don’t see how this helps tackle the recurring problem in our league.

"If anything, a struggling owner may feel less morally obliged to pay a player what he’s owed, knowing they will get their money from this fund.”

Online Editors

The Throw-In: New era for Dublin, all up for grabs in the hurling league and club final heroics

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport