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Thread: What happens next?

  1. #21
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    I think because of the general financial situation of the teams in the league, it won't be viable to have a Premier Division, First Division, Second Division, etc.

    I think it would be a better idea to have a regionalised First Division. Increase the Premier League to 16 teams and have a First Division split into regions below that. Premier Division teams can enter their reserve teams into this league - there were 16 teams in the A Championship last season (plus 4 of the current First Division teams), so that means there can be 2 groups of 10 at this level.

    The licensing criteria for this First Division must be relaxed down to current A Championship levels. If there are more interest in this over time, additional groups can be added, so all teams meeting the licensing criteria can be accommodated.

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    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    If there was a national division of:
    GUST
    Cobh
    Tralee
    Carlow
    Castlebar
    Tullamore

    Would the financial side be much different to that encountered in the A Championship. In terms of travel Castlebar is a bit of a journey from Tralee and Cobh but manageable. If a third tier was not propped up by reserve teams, it could stand on it's own feet and become a firm part of the league. Leagues are built on rivalries. There's no rivalry with reserve teams.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  3. #23
    Apprentice kerrysock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlapjackJoe View Post
    I think because of the general financial situation of the teams in the league, it won't be viable to have a Premier Division, First Division, Second Division, etc.

    I think it would be a better idea to have a regionalised First Division. Increase the Premier League to 16 teams and have a First Division split into regions below that. Premier Division teams can enter their reserve teams into this league - there were 16 teams in the A Championship last season (plus 4 of the current First Division teams), so that means there can be 2 groups of 10 at this level.

    The licensing criteria for this First Division must be relaxed down to current A Championship levels. If there are more interest in this over time, additional groups can be added, so all teams meeting the licensing criteria can be accommodated.
    I think the complete opposite!

    I seriously think the FAI are doing Dynamos and Cobh a favour by not awarding them a license. The finances simply are not good enough. In terms of the 3rd tier, it does not make sense at the moment with the steep recession we are experiencing. In essence economics has prevailed here. When the going is good, the league expanded with new teams added. The going is bad now and hence the league is contracted. The FAI are trying to keep the whole show on the road and that starts by keeping the LOI small and compact where the participating teams are as financially sound as possible. The licensing laws should be tougher if anything - not weaker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    If there was a national division of:
    GUST
    Cobh
    Tralee
    Carlow
    Castlebar
    Tullamore

    Would the financial side be much different to that encountered in the A Championship. In terms of travel Castlebar is a bit of a journey from Tralee and Cobh but manageable. If a third tier was not propped up by reserve teams, it could stand on it's own feet and become a firm part of the league. Leagues are built on rivalries. There's no rivalry with reserve teams.
    A league with 6 teams - are you having a laugh? 8 teams in the first division is bad enough and you want a 6 team 3rd tier. I can see where you are coming from i.e. that the clubs listed will benefit but the FAI and joe public would have no interest in a 3rd tier 6 tem league in my view!

    Also, with the reserve teams out of the picture the standard would drop substantially in my view. No non-reserve team ever won (or even came close to winning) the a-championship during its existence!

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    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    6 is far from ideal but as I said somewhere else, build a league and the teams will come. It has to start somewhere? Dynamos only played 14 games last year. 6 teams over 3 series is 15 games or 4 series 20 games. The U19 league is getting by ok as it is with a similar number.

    My point is that the teams listed would benefit. I think Joe Public from the area of the clubs mentioned might have more interest in it than a league propped up by reserve teams in my view. No rivalry of note every really built up in the A Championship due to the majority being reserve teams. If the 6 above were battling to win a division with the winner getting a shot through a play-off, a rivalry would start the build. I fully accept where you are coming from but I believe a division as mentioned standing on it own feet could prove attractive to one or two more teams.

    Gavin recently had comment that Cobh and Tralee would've brought down the standard of the First Division. With a promotion/relegation play-off, teams would at least have a chance on the field of play while also having to match necessary licencing of it.

    It's a shame as I say to be left with this wishful thinking. The dream and hope all winter was League of Ireland football would've been coming to the Kingdom next month. Unfortunately and very disappointingly it has not come to be on this occasion. Personally I'd love to be going to watch Dynamos in the division of 6 I mentioned but clearly that's just me.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerrysock View Post
    No non-reserve team ever won (or even came close to winning) the a-championship during its existence!
    Salthill Devon won their group in 2009 and lost 1-0 to Shamrock Rovers 'A' in the 97th minute of the play-off final.

  7. #27
    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    Cobh at least qualified for a promotion/relegation play-off which Salthill won fair and square to retain their first division status. Such a system should be brought back.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  8. #28
    Seasoned Pro peadar1987's Avatar
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    Regardless of the exact format of it, I think it is important to have some sort of official gateway league from junior to senior football. Going from playing a team just down the road, paid for by members' subscriptions, to playing in a national league where you could be in Wexford one week and Ballybofey the next is too big a step for most potential clubs to jump in one go. If there was a more gradual way of making the transition, in some sort of regional league, I think we'd see teams like Castlebar, etc. building a decent fanbase, and being truly ready for a crack at surviving in the first division.

  9. #29
    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    That's it in a nutshell peadar. That's all we want, an official gateway so we or any club can work towards the first division. It's an awful pity it's gone from realism in the A Championship to wishful thinking. With different seasons and the complex dynamics of different powers in provincial leagues, a third tier where certain criteria has to be met is the only option.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    Personally I'd love to be going to watch Dynamos in the division of 6 I mentioned but clearly that's just me.
    I think you are in the minority there legendz, the a championship attendances were very poor with a larger number of teams - it would be worse with 6 in my view. Also, the omission of 2nd string teams like the likes of Shamrock Rovers etc would have a detrimental effect. You argue that Joe Public would have more interest if reserve teams were omitted - I completely disagree. One of the main reasons people attended games was to see the likes of Rovers and other LOI reserve team players.

    The a-championship was a great idea there is no denying that, but finances talk and the LOI have rightfully recognised that. A 3rd tier will not be seen for a long time.

    I think Dynamos would be way better served if they fell back into Kerry now and start challenging for domestic honours, while also investing heavily in infrastructure. Dynamos have fallen behind other Kerry clubs in terms of facilities, they need to remedy this and start a movement for a possible Kerry LOI team in conjunction with other junior Kerry clubs. Dynamos cannot survive in the LOI by themselves - and LOI not granting them a license has confirmed this in my view.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    That's it in a nutshell peadar. That's all we want, an official gateway so we or any club can work towards the first division. It's an awful pity it's gone from realism in the A Championship to wishful thinking. With different seasons and the complex dynamics of different powers in provincial leagues, a third tier where certain criteria has to be met is the only option.
    I think a "gateway" from junior football to senior football is a good idea but unless the sufficient finances are behind a junior club, it pretty much will fail. Dynamos are a great club. I think they need to rebuild the club now from the ground up again - and that starts by re-entering the KDL and investing in facilities. I'd really like to see that happen. Domestic Kerry soccer has suffered in my view since Dynamos left. It would be great to see Dynamos compete with other clubs like Killarney Celtic and St Brendans Park for league titles and cups!

  12. #32
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    I suppose we have different visions of what we want for the game. You're more into the KDL scene than I am. When the A Championship opened up the opportunity for a Kerry club, Dynamos were right to go for it.

    Regards being in the minority, I accept that could be the case but the A Championship as a division never captured the publics imagination and so many reserve teams being involved was a factor. Yhe U19 southern league has shown a division can be run with 6 clubs. It's not ideal but it is a starting point. The hope would be that two more clubs would join as the the league would gain more status and become established.

    On one level I'm disappointed Dynamos didn't get in because I won't be going to game but more importantly Kerry needs a club in the LoI to be the focal point for the development of the game within the county.

    Maybe ideally clubs would work together to get a club formed to represent the county but if that's not possible, Dynamos are right to take it on to be that club.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  13. #33
    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    I'm not going to dilute the First Division thread with talks of how small the division is etc.

    Comments so far range from:
    Still can't get over how small this division is. Christ it feels like only last week we were playing Harps at home.
    Agree that the First Division is in a bit of a state with only eight teams. I know Limerick have been getting decent numbers (relatively speaking), but sounds like every other club is struggling to break 400-500. Going over the same opposiion so soon isn't going to help that.


    RE: What happens next?

    I can only hope having seen the division in practice, the FAI will be more determined for more clubs to be involved.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  14. #34
    Like the Fonz. Only a dog. Mr A's Avatar
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    Or get rid of a few and have one big league might possibly be their thinking.

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr A View Post
    Or get rid of a few and have one big league might possibly be their thinking.
    I would suspect this as well. Limerick and Longford would make the cut and would be competitive as it stands. I would have said Waterford as well at the start of the season, but they seem to be undergoing a real slump at the moment, maybe it’s just temporary. The likes of Wexford, Athlone and Finn Harps could also be part of a single division with just a bit more improvement/investment/consistency.

    But, can't say the same for the Galway clubs, unfortunately. Mervue looked like they were gradually on the up over their few seasons in the LoI, but have just gone backwards over the last two months, while Salthill have never looked competitive.

    Speaking theoretically and on the sole basis of the season so far, I'd put in Limerick, Longford, Wexford (Because they play nice-to-watch football) and Harps (Because they seem like battlers and I think they'll only improve this season).

    I wouldn't put it past the FAI to just lump them all in and make a 20 team league if they do choose to go for a single division format.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Is there a need for an expanded Premier? It's gone from 12 teams - 3 series to 10 teams - 4 series back to 12 teams - 3 series. While 3 series might not seem ideal, there's a healthy look about the Premier this season and it's competitive, it has history of this format and it seems to be bedding in well.

    With the Premier seemingly ok, the focus should be on the first division. If there's no second division, why no re-name it? It should be set in stone that the LoI will consist of 24 clubs max. The race can be on by clubs to take the 4 vacant spots and leave it at that until such a time as additional tiers are an option.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    I can only hope having seen the division in practice, the FAI will be more determined for more clubs to be involved.
    You keep missing the point here legendz, if clubs are able from a financial perspective to join the league the FAI will facilitate them. Dynamos simply did not and will not have the finances for such a venture., so were not left into the league as a consequence.

    We cannot have the league becoming a bit of a joke, standards have to be met...simple as that! In my view the licencing structure held up very well this year. Also, from a financial perspective getting rid of the A championship was the right move. The interest simply wasn't there from clubs and supporters.

    I would support a 1 division league to be honest and that is yet what we may see as there are a few teams in the current division 1 (and possibly even the premier) that are struggling too

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    Getting rid of the A Championship was a retrograde step. Yes it cost a bit but hey- just cut that from your first team player budget. It shouldn't impact your competitiveness as everyone in the premier had to do it while in the first it was voluntary.

    And licensing is a joke unfortunately. One year it's OK to miss the deadline, other years it's not. It has failed to prevent clubs from running up massive debt, folding, then starting again- surely the key objective of any licensing project. There are good aspects to it, but overall it's been poor.

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  20. #39
    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kerrysock View Post
    You keep missing the point here legendz, if clubs are able from a financial perspective to join the league the FAI will facilitate them. Dynamos simply did not and will not have the finances for such a venture., so were not left into the league as a consequence.

    We cannot have the league becoming a bit of a joke, standards have to be met...simple as that! In my view the licencing structure held up very well this year. Also, from a financial perspective getting rid of the A championship was the right move. The interest simply wasn't there from clubs and supporters.

    I would support a 1 division league to be honest and that is yet what we may see as there are a few teams in the current division 1 (and possibly even the premier) that are struggling too
    I'm aware of financial perspective but weren't Tralee or Cobh to be included if one of the 8 failed to make the grade? Where's the financial perspective with that?


    I agree 100% standards have to be met. The FAI at the same time have a responsibility to develop the game in the country. Even if it's not achievable at this time, they should have a goal to get more clubs nationwide part of a regional league with the aim of developing and promoting the game in those areas. It's said clubs don't want to be part of the LoI but I'm not convinced by that. If a structure were right regards finances, travel and distance, the environment could be created for 3 regional leagues north-west, east and south-west. Take the south-west: Kerry, Clare, Tipperary and other areas. If the FAI were to work with clubs from populated areas in these regions, a league could be formed with two from Kerry, two from Tipperary, one from Clare, Cobh then from Cork and possibly two more clubs from populated areas in the south-west. This could similarly be done in the east as well around Carlow, Offaly, Kilkenny, Kildare etc. In a lot of eyes this will seem fanciful but if efforts are not made as present, it will be that. The AIL in rugby has problems but at least they have regional leagues linked to higher levels. With intermediate/junior leagues on the season they are and the whole way those league are run with people having power etc. and big fish in their pond, I wouldn't go down the road of mentioned pyramids. Getting 3, or even 4, regional leagues set-up with a set number of clubs from certain areas involved should not be beyond the bounds of possibility.


    It's said the A Championship did not work but 8 first team clubs took part over the 4 seasons. An environment has to be created where clubs can join a regional league without being much of a financial burden on the clubs. There naturally then has to be a link to the top.




    I don't see why you'd support a single division league. Some have rightly questioned what the bottom clubs in the first division will have to play for this year? Is that wanted in the Premier, clubs struggling indefinitely at the bottom. Even with only 8 clubs, the first division is still a decent test of clubs before one or two join the top tier.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  21. #40
    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    I'm bumping this thread just to ask if anyone has heard or knows of any club - Tralee, Cobh, Carlow, etc - who is considering an application for the LOI next season (or would be capable of doing so). A lot of discussion going on right now about the future of the league, I'm just interested to know about any possibilities of expansion, however slight.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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