Monday 18 March 2019

'Frustrated' Kerr hits out at FAI's timing of League of Ireland launch

Brian Kerr: ‘We had the situation where half the league was played in the first three months. It was mad stuff I thought’. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Brian Kerr: ‘We had the situation where half the league was played in the first three months. It was mad stuff I thought’. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Brian Kerr has hit out at the FAI's scheduling of today's League of Ireland launch three days before the league kicks off on Friday.

The former Ireland manager who insists that he has not taken on an official role with Niall Quinn, who is looking to revamp the league, believes that the lack of 'logic' around the timing of the launch is symptomatic of the attitude towards the domestic game.

"One of the reasons I'm out of it is total frustration with the nitty-gritty of the League of Ireland and I couldn't go back into the lack of verve and real love and passion for it in terms of how it's run," Virgin Media Sport pundit Kerr said.

"Like, why would you be having the launch of the league tomorrow (today) with the league starting on Friday? Give me the logic of that.

"The Champions League restarts and Manchester United are playing, what sort of coverage will there be (of the launch)?

"Last week there was an FA Cup replay. To me, that is part of the attitude with some of the decisions being made. Like the midweek thing last year, I know there is not as many of them this year but the Monday night matches.

"Then we had the situation where half the league was played in the first three months of the season.

"It was mad stuff I thought and this sort of illogical structure around the league... I disagree with playing each other four times.

"But to have Niall's initiative and some of the others bubbling underneath to bring on change and investment and bring on a spark to the league."

Quinn recently met with the League of Ireland director Fran Gavin, and the former striker revealed that the talks were positive as he looks to further his plans for an independent league with academies funded by a combination of private investment and government support.

"I thought it was very positive," Quinn maintained. "I wasn't trying to do a hatchet job on the FAI. My point to Fran was, as long as the players have that escape route, it will be seized upon by scouts.

"The next step is for people to carry on the debate together and maybe in behind the scenes, the clubs have agreement that maybe a couple of independent bodies would be asked to look into how we can make it investable and how can we approach government."

Irish Independent

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