Thursday 23 May 2019

St Patrick's Athletic to take Waterford FC's place in Europa League as Blues are denied UEFA licence

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

Tony Considine

Waterford FC have been denied a licence to compete in European competition for the 2019/20 season.

The Europa League spot they thought they had secured by finishing fourth last season will now be awarded to St. Patrick’s Athletic, who finished nine points behind Alan Reynold’s team.

The FAI have released a statement this evening confirming the bad news for the Blues.

"The Football Association of Ireland can confirm it has received notification from UEFA’s Licensing Department that Waterford FC’s exception request has been rejected on the non-fulfilment of the three-year rule as defined in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations," it read.

"UEFA has informed the FAI that, following the Club Financial Control Body-Investigatory Chamber decision in this case, Waterford FC may not apply for a UEFA licence for the UEFA Club Competitions for the season 2019/20."

News had emerged on Wednesday evening that St Pat’s had raised an objection with UEFA under 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."

Waterford United were taken over by current owner Lee Power and rebranded as Waterford FC in 2017 and have fallen foul under the same regulation that saw Derry City prevented from competing in Europe seven years ago.

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