Saturday 19 October 2019

New players eye role in League of Ireland

 

Existing contracts are generating in the region of €800,000 per year and the aim is to work towards doubling that income. Stock photo
Existing contracts are generating in the region of €800,000 per year and the aim is to work towards doubling that income. Stock photo
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The FAI are set to hold talks with new third parties that have expressed interest in offering an input into the direction of the league going forward.

Irish domestic football is approaching a crossroads with talks between clubs and the FAI seeking to reach a conclusion on who will run proceedings after 2020.

Tech entrepreneur Kieran Lucid is pushing for an all-island league, and needs clubs on both sides of the border to give him the approval to press on, but he is still looking to fund his proposal.

Southern sides have mulled over going their own way or proceeding in a partnership with the FAI after hearing negative reports about the northern approach to Lucid's vision.

It's now understood that additional players based overseas have expressed an interest - through the FAI - in having an involvement. Discussions are planned with more than one group to find out if they can put another option on the table.

Talks between the FAI and representatives of clubs have led to the Abbotstown authorities providing a picture of the current financial realities.

A piece in today's Irish Independent carries details of existing sponsorship and TV deals which outline the pressing need to boost revenues in this department.

Existing contracts are generating in the region of €800,000 per year and the aim is to work towards doubling that income.

The identity of the new players has not been disclosed but it's understood that investors and commercial experts are monitoring the Irish market.

One avenue is to work with European agencies that specialise in selling media rights for commission. They could have something to offer in the context of the emergence of online streaming options.

Another prospective angle on the radar is investors putting money into the league in the short term, with a view to holding a long-term stake if a new company is established.

The next big meeting is planned for October 8, with more discussions on the size of the Premier Division planned.

Representatives of underage teams in Kerry, Cavan/Monaghan, Kildare, Carlow/Kilkenny and Mayo will be invited as there are hopes these areas might be interested in fielding senior teams in the future.

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