Sunday 22 September 2019

St Patrick's Athletic raise UEFA and FAI query relating to Waterford's eligibility to compete in Europa League

Aaron Drinan of Waterford FC in action against Kevin Toner. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Aaron Drinan of Waterford FC in action against Kevin Toner. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Tony Considine

St Patrick's Athletic have contacted UEFA and the FAI in relation to a query regarding UEFA club licensing.

The query was confirmed in an FAI statement released on Wednesday evening. 

It is believed that it relates to Waterford FC’s place in the 2019/20 Europa League. Waterford qualified via their fourth place finish with Pat’s coming fifth, nine points behind the Blues. 

However, questions have been asked relating to the UEFA rule which saw Derry City striped of their  Europa League place in 2012 and whether a similar scenario exists.

Derry were refused entry to the competition due to Article 12.2 of Uefa’s club licensing and financial fair play regulations which states that the club's "membership and the contractual relationship (if any) must have lasted – at the start of the licence season – for at least three consecutive years."

As Derry had been placed into liquidation at the end of 2009 before a new company was formed which took over the running of the club.,their European place for the 2012 season was awarded to Bohemians,

Waterford United were taken over by current owner Lee Power and rebranded as Waterford FC in 2017. Although some creditors left by the previous entity are believed to have been paid, there remains uncertainty over whether this exempts the new entity from Article 12.2.

Although St. Pat’s have refused to comment on the story, the club have apparently applied for a Uefa licence this season in case they are asked to step in. 

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