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The new FAI seem to view the LOI as more than an annoying chore on a to-do list. Can this be a turning point?

Daniel McDonnell


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Premier Division players, from left, Conor Davis of Cork City, Ciaran Kilduff of Shelbourne, Dave Webster of Finn Harps, Ian Bermingham of St Patrick's Athletic, Ronan Finn of Shamrock Rovers, FAI Interim Deputy Chief Executive Niall Quinn, Darragh Leahy of Dundalk, David Cawley of Sligo Rovers, Robbie McCourt of Waterford, Conor Clifford of Derry City and Danny Grant of Bohemians during the launch of the 2020 SSE Airtricity League season. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Premier Division players, from left, Conor Davis of Cork City, Ciaran Kilduff of Shelbourne, Dave Webster of Finn Harps, Ian Bermingham of St Patrick's Athletic, Ronan Finn of Shamrock Rovers, FAI Interim Deputy Chief Executive Niall Quinn, Darragh Leahy of Dundalk, David Cawley of Sligo Rovers, Robbie McCourt of Waterford, Conor Clifford of Derry City and Danny Grant of Bohemians during the launch of the 2020 SSE Airtricity League season. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Premier Division players, from left, Conor Davis of Cork City, Ciaran Kilduff of Shelbourne, Dave Webster of Finn Harps, Ian Bermingham of St Patrick's Athletic, Ronan Finn of Shamrock Rovers, FAI Interim Deputy Chief Executive Niall Quinn, Darragh Leahy of Dundalk, David Cawley of Sligo Rovers, Robbie McCourt of Waterford, Conor Clifford of Derry City and Danny Grant of Bohemians during the launch of the 2020 SSE Airtricity League season. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

THE League of Ireland returns on Friday after an off-season like no other. In time, we will find out the true significance.

On December 18, Jonathan O'Brien, out-going Sinn Féin TD, delivered a line in a Dáil debate on Irish football's broader problems that summed up years of frustration.

"We were not the problem child," said the former Cork City chairman, referencing a famous line by ex-FAI CEO John Delaney about the senior league. "The FAI were the absentee fathers. They were the absentee fathers who didn't give an absolute bollocks about the League of Ireland and continue to not care about the League of Ireland."