Wednesday 21 February 2018

'St Pat's statement defies all logic' - FAI hit back as second club refuse €5k grant

Richmond Park, the home of St Pat's
Richmond Park, the home of St Pat's

Harry Clarke

The Football Association of Ireland have claimed that a statement issued by St Patrick's Athletic, where the Dublin club followed Derry City's lead in refusing a €5k development grant, "defies logic".

Pat's issued a hard-hitting statement on Friday, claiming they will refuse the grant and stating that "the FAI has utterly failed the domestic game".

But the FAI have responded, claiming that the Inchicore club were central to discussions on the strategic/business strategy only last week.

"St Patrick's Athletic's statement is extraordinary, given that they, through their rep Frank Kinsella, were central to the Strategic/Business strategy process agreement," said FAI Director of Communications Ian Mallon.

"Frank Kinsella attended the meeting between the PCA and the FAI, with Michael Cush, agreed and signed off on the process, and now, more than a week later his club has decided they don't want to be a part of something they agreed to in the first place. It defies all logic."

However, the St Patrick's Athletic statement indicated that their board took the decision to release their statement after considering a report they received from their general manager about the meeting with the FAI.

It's understood that Kinsella attended the meeting with the FAI in his capacity as a PCA representative along with delegates from two other clubs.

Last week, the FAI confirmed that they, along with the Premier Clubs Association, would be allocating a €100,000 grant to be shared equally among the 20 SSE Airtricity League clubs.

On Thursday, Derry City Chairman Sean Barrett said that his club would not be availing of the €5,000 grant calling it "disrespectful".

And despite the FAI's claim that Pat's had signed off on the agreement last week, the club issued the following statement on Friday.

"The board of St Patrick's Athletic FC has decided that it will not accept the offer of 5,000 euro made by the FAI towards the expenses of each club in preparing a 5 year plan.

"The board's decision followed a report by its General Manager on the meeting with the FAI at which this proposal was made by the Association and the board's decision acknowledges the lead given by the board of Derry City FC, a fellow member of the Premier Clubs Alliance (PCA), on the issue.

"The board of SPAFC wants its decision to serve as a clear message to the FAI that it has utterly failed in its responsibility to the domestic game and to those clubs who, in spite of its indifference, have managed to keep some semblance of professionalism within football in Ireland.

"The board is of the view that the Association's move and its timing was deliberately aimed at encouraging non Premier League clubs to stand with the current administrators of our league as the PCA set about its agenda of change. That it would do so in a week when Cork City FC and particularly Dundalk FC performed on the European stage at a level and with a verve that belies the manner in which they and the other clubs have been treated, is particularly disappointing.

"The board of SPAFC is committed to the establishment of a strong PCA which must be focused on rooting out the culture of disinterest that has prevailed throughout the FAI's management of our League for too many years. Offering the proverbial "crumbs from the rich man's table" will not shift the resolve of those clubs and those individuals determined to create a properly funded and professionally managed league in Ireland."

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