Saints join Derry in refusing €5,000 FAI offer
Derry City 1 St Patrick's Athletic 1
Derry and St Patrick's Athletic deservedly shared the spoils but their united stance against the FAI's stewardship of the league was the big talking point at the Brandywell.
After Derry announced on Thursday that they would be refusing a €5,000 grant to fund a five-year strategic plan, the Dubliners followed suit ahead of this game.
They released a hard-hitting statement about the FAI's attitude to the Airtricity League.
St Pat's are a prominent member of the Premier Clubs' Alliance (PCA) that has raised concerns about the direction of the league.
An offer that effectively amounts to €20 per week angered Derry and the Saints feel equally strongly.
They believe the announcement made by chief executive John Delaney was an attempt to get First Division clubs on side.
"The board is of the view that the 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," they said.
"The board wants its decision (to refuse money) 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.
"St Pat's 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 individuals determined create a properly funded and professionally managed league in Ireland."
FAI communications director Ian Mallon last night described the Saints' statement as "extraordinary" and indicated that the association will be releasing a detailed response in due course.
On the pitch, Rory Patterson's 10th-minute strike put the hosts in front but Keith Treacy cancelled it out.
Derry City - Doherty, McDermott, Vemmelund, Monaghan, Jarvis; McCormack, McEneff; Schubert (Boyle 61), McNamee (Doherty 86), Daniels (Curtis 70); Patterson.
St Patrick's Athletic - Clarke, O'Brien, D Dennehy, Hoare, Bermingham; Cawley, (Kelly 19) Treacy (Verdon 81), Timlin; Byrne (Kinsella 70), Fagan, B Dennehy.
Ref - P Tuite (Dublin)