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Why the League of Ireland's underlying conditions make it so vulnerable

Daniel McDonnell


Ireland and Moldova - the poorest country in Europe - are the only summer leagues still in limbo

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Support structures: Bohemians supporters queue for tickets for last year's FAI Cup semi-final. Most League of Ireland clubs are heavily reliant on crowds as a revenue stream. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Support structures: Bohemians supporters queue for tickets for last year's FAI Cup semi-final. Most League of Ireland clubs are heavily reliant on crowds as a revenue stream. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Support structures: Bohemians supporters queue for tickets for last year's FAI Cup semi-final. Most League of Ireland clubs are heavily reliant on crowds as a revenue stream. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The debate around the return of League of Ireland has naturally been framed by developments in team sports on these islands.

But there is a flaw in that line of thinking which is in danger of underestimating the consequences of calling for the 2020 season to be shelved.

English Premier League outfits and the lower leagues are deliberating over the status of a campaign that was nearing completion. Debates around contentious decisions are essentially being influenced by attempts to structure next season.