Can the league of Ireland ever develop into a serious league?
May 15, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

league of ireland logo

How often would you go to a League of Ireland match? The majority of Irish football fans would rarely go and see their own clubs play on a Friday night. They would sooner sit at home and watch English football on sky sports. And they’d be right too. Irish football over the years has deteriorated. Match attendances have dropped, less money is being invested into the league . The Fai’s main focus is on the national team rather than their own league. This is the just one of the problems surrounding Irish football.

I remember growing up, 2007, going to almost every home game for Drogheda United( the year they won the league). It was the highlight of my week. This was the year that Irish football was at its peak with attendances and interest from the public. Stadiums were overflowing with supporters, the atmosphere was electric. All of that seems to be gone now. I know that now, I would sooner watch a live game on sky sports than go to Hunky Dorys Park or Oriel Park. Our league isn’t being considered as a serious league anymore

Where has it all gone wrong?
Money wise, there just isn’t enough being invested into the league. This is all starts from the grassroots, investing into youth academy’s, finding the best young talent and and developing them into future internationals. Just taking my hometown for Drogheda for instance, we don’t have any youth facilities that could benefit us for the future, being an Irish league team. If you’re good enough and lucky enough, a Dublin team might take you under. Other than that you’ll be stuck playing Sunday League football after you’re ineligible for U19s. The FAI has to make a contribution- in every department. The league fees are costing clubs a fortune. Tv rights are minimal, with only the top Dublin teams being shown every so often on Rte. Setanta seem to be the only real investors in this area. There are heavy fines for very small misdemeanors. Yet the money for winning the league itself is quite a small figure. The clubs are struggling for resources and the commercial side of most clubs is very tough in the modern environment. The player wages have been reduced substantially.

Sure we can talk about the likes of Seamus Coleman and Shane Long who started off in the League. But if they hadn’t left for England , they would not even be considered for the Irish football team. How many current League of Ireland players have even been called up by Ireland?- 0. This suggests that even the Fai don’t take our league serious, or take enough of an interest in it. Richie Towell and Chris Forrester, two of the best players in the L.O.I last season, have since moved on to English clubs. And only now they are being just recognised by the National team. I think it is ridiculous that to be in with a chance to play for your country , you have to play football outside of your country.

Why is the FAI so bad at marketing and promoting the game in this country?

The answers to these questions are simple. In fact there is only one answer. The Football Association of Ireland is more concerned with the senior national team and its exploits than with the health of the domestic game. The “visionaries” within the FAI fail to see the link between the health of the League of Ireland and the health of the game in the future. This much is evident from their total lack of engagement with the clubs and the league as a whole.

Irish football fans need to have a long hard look in the mirror. The self-styled best fans in the world are more than happy to spend thousands to get to Poland to watch a sub-standard team play industrial style football, yet are unwilling to go and support their local League of Ireland team on a Friday night.

Football fans and football enthusiasts in this country have a responsibility to support the league. If they care about football as much as they claim to, then they should ensure that there is a domestic League in this country for their children and grandchildren’s generation.

I don’t think the League of Ireland will ever be considered a serious league for these reasons unless something drastic is done. And I don’t see anything happening anytime soon sadly.

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Can the league of Ireland ever develop into a serious league?
May 15, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

league of ireland logo

How often would you go to a League of Ireland match? The majority of Irish football fans would rarely go and see their own clubs play on a Friday night. They would sooner sit at home and watch English football on sky sports. And they’d be right too. Irish football over the years has deteriorated. Match attendances have dropped, less money is being invested into the league . The Fai’s main focus is on the national team rather than their own league. This is the just one of the problems surrounding Irish football.

I remember growing up, 2007, going to almost every home game for Drogheda United( the year they won the league). It was the highlight of my week. This was the year that Irish football was at its peak with attendances and interest from the public. Stadiums were overflowing with supporters, the atmosphere was electric. All of that seems to be gone now. I know that now, I would sooner watch a live game on sky sports than go to Hunky Dorys Park or Oriel Park. Our league isn’t being considered as a serious league anymore

Where has it all gone wrong?
Money wise, there just isn’t enough being invested into the league. This is all starts from the grassroots, investing into youth academy’s, finding the best young talent and and developing them into future internationals. Just taking my hometown for Drogheda for instance, we don’t have any youth facilities that could benefit us for the future, being an Irish league team. If you’re good enough and lucky enough, a Dublin team might take you under. Other than that you’ll be stuck playing Sunday League football after you’re ineligible for U19s. The FAI has to make a contribution- in every department. The league fees are costing clubs a fortune. Tv rights are minimal, with only the top Dublin teams being shown every so often on Rte. Setanta seem to be the only real investors in this area. There are heavy fines for very small misdemeanors. Yet the money for winning the league itself is quite a small figure. The clubs are struggling for resources and the commercial side of most clubs is very tough in the modern environment. The player wages have been reduced substantially.

Sure we can talk about the likes of Seamus Coleman and Shane Long who started off in the League. But if they hadn’t left for England , they would not even be considered for the Irish football team. How many current League of Ireland players have even been called up by Ireland?- 0. This suggests that even the Fai don’t take our league serious, or take enough of an interest in it. Richie Towell and Chris Forrester, two of the best players in the L.O.I last season, have since moved on to English clubs. And only now they are being just recognised by the National team. I think it is ridiculous that to be in with a chance to play for your country , you have to play football outside of your country.

Why is the FAI so bad at marketing and promoting the game in this country?

The answers to these questions are simple. In fact there is only one answer. The Football Association of Ireland is more concerned with the senior national team and its exploits than with the health of the domestic game. The “visionaries” within the FAI fail to see the link between the health of the League of Ireland and the health of the game in the future. This much is evident from their total lack of engagement with the clubs and the league as a whole.

Irish football fans need to have a long hard look in the mirror. The self-styled best fans in the world are more than happy to spend thousands to get to Poland to watch a sub-standard team play industrial style football, yet are unwilling to go and support their local League of Ireland team on a Friday night.

Football fans and football enthusiasts in this country have a responsibility to support the league. If they care about football as much as they claim to, then they should ensure that there is a domestic League in this country for their children and grandchildren’s generation.

I don’t think the League of Ireland will ever be considered a serious league for these reasons unless something drastic is done. And I don’t see anything happening anytime soon sadly.

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