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Thread: Get real about licensing

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    Get real about licensing

    Was going to post this in the thread below but as its become mostly series of petty arguments with Cork people I'll start a new one if people don't mind.

    It's time people got real about what the FAI License is meant to be doing. It is being very simplistic to call licensing a fudge. What is the point of introducing a system to improve standards at all clubs, applying an impossibly high standard from square one (with no financial assistance as already mentioned) and then using it to put clubs out of football. Last season this would mainly have consisted of putting out clubs who, through lack of finance in many cases, had sub standard facilities. Licensing was not introduced to kill off clubs, so I don't know why so many people seem to have a blood lust, longing to see somebody put to the wall.

    The purpose of licensing is to raise everyone to a standard, but when almost everybody is light years off the standards adopted the only option is to work with people to get there, while in no way stepping back from the necessity to achieve these standards. This is why the ground development programme thingy is now accepted on the infrastructure front. Clubs have to get off their arses and have REAL, costed and time framed plans for improvement to get to carry on in the league. The likes of Derry who are already mostly there can now see the benefits on the field as others have to invest a portion of their income in infrastructure.

    As it says in the bootroom article, with this in mind for infrastructure the licensing body will now focus on clubs financial stability. Which again is spot on in my view. Irresponsible spending, financial flying by the seat of the pants, resulting in clubs with huge debts, unpaid wages or catastrophies waiting to happen if they don't get a good draw in Europe are far more threatening to the future of the LOI than dodgy stadiums.

    The FAI has admitted that mistakes were made in their implementation of licensing so far, by this i take it they mean in trying to run before we could crawl. Licensing is a process, not an event, and will yet prove to be the best thing that ever happened to this league. Look forward ten years (rather than ten minutes) and hopefully we'll have all 22 current clubs still competing, all financially transparent with none having gone bankrupt, and all having improved their grounds to an acceptable standard. This would not happen without licensing or if it were misused to strangle clubs who are in developmental stages as some people seem to wish.

    Licensing was never going to sort everything out in 2 years, it won't in 5 years, so lets give this process a chance and not demand bloodletting!!

    As for clubs taking it seriously, I know that the FAI take it very seriously, and any club who doesn't will end up getting burned.

    On a personal note Finn Harps returns to the licensing body were made before the Dec 17th deadline, I'd be surprised if any clubs were not.

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    Ok thats all great but look at the rules the League already has and they never bothered enforcing them.

    Premier Division teams are ment to have 1500 seats, thats been a rule for years now but never ever applied. Finn Harp, Drogs, UCD to name a few never ever had this in place but were allowed proceed into the Premier Division. Why should we blieve that Licencing will be any different?
    Oh no not them again

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    Coach wws's Avatar
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    If I could had to Mr T's large dollop of common sense - its not about failing people by "enforcing the rules" - its about setting a standard - AND than putting the financial and advisory back up in place to make sure all achieve that standard

    funding 4 clubs requirements is unacceptable and counter productive - your serious about clubs reaching standards - ie you put in place serious grant aid - or just having a laugh

    up to now the FAI and league have just been having a laugh with the proposals and not taking it seriously

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    First Team paudie's Avatar
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    Excellent points Mr T.

    With licencing clubs now know what standard they are expected to reach in all aspects of their structure, but given the low base most are starting from its always going to be a long term process.

    It annoys me to see some fans hoping that other clubs don't get licences.Most clubs in the league don't have to go back too far to a time when they was in financial trouble to some degree.

    One negative point is that the funds to put stadium infrastructure in place don't seem to be available to clubs at the moment. The FAI will have to sort this out if they expect licencing to have a long term effect.
    I'm what? I'm ants at a picnic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SÓC
    Ok thats all great but look at the rules the League already has and they never bothered enforcing them.

    Premier Division teams are ment to have 1500 seats, thats been a rule for years now but never ever applied. Finn Harp, Drogs, UCD to name a few never ever had this in place but were allowed proceed into the Premier Division. Why should we blieve that Licencing will be any different?
    Believe me, clubs are being left in no doubt that licensing is not going to go away.

    All I'm saying is that for once instead of slating the FAI, I'm glad they are going about implementing the principle of licensing in a sensible, realistic but still very stringent way.

    Paudie is right too, funding for clubs who have their acts together and have dvelopment plans ready to go is vital.

    The time will come soon when clubs will be relegated or possibly worse for failing to get their act togehter, but they have to be given a chance first.

    It will be interesting to see how the financial criteria are lived up to. If a club has serious financial irregularities they must be hauled into line fast.

    TG

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    I do think rules do need to be enforced but that starts with setting realistic & achievable rules.

    Improvement will only come along by baby steps.

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    Seasoned Pro OneRedArmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_T
    All I'm saying is that for once instead of slating the FAI, I'm glad they are going about implementing the principle of licensing in a sensible, realistic but still very stringent way.
    TG
    The FAI's approach has been a bloody farce and has been for the last 12 months! Have you been under a rock or have you chosen to ignore the shambolic goings on in Merrion Square re co-opting, sneaky meetings, deadlines ignored and the like?

    Mistake 1: If the original licensing document document was aspirational, they should have publically said so and introduced a gradual system of improvements that clubs would commit too (particularly in the infrastructure category where significant spending is required)

    Mistake 2: as Longfordian posted elsewhere, despite the huge leap in standards and general business behaviour the licensing document required from almost every club (in a very short period of time) these same clubs approved the proposals! It was all there for them to see in the written manual, so I conclude that the club reps didn't read the document/intended to pay no heed to it/or we're wildly overconfident in their abilities to make the required changes.

    Mistake 3: when the FAI/EL realised that very few clubs were taking the requirements seriously (late 2003) and that others whilst working hard wouldn't meet the requirements, they should have sat down with the clubs and worked out a solution in conjunction with UEFA (possibly a delay). Instead they ignored the issue until the submission deadline had passed, a large number of clubs hadn't met the standards and there was a critical issue re the League participation and structure and European qualification.

    Mistake 4: rather than be honest and admit the licensing plan was an well intended development that was probably "too much too soon", the FAI/EL in seeking to cover their tracks, breached its own procedures for appeals, awarded licenses that they procedurally had no right to award and fudged the issue monumentally.

    If thats "sensible, realistic and stringent" then God help us all...........

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    First Team Bald Student's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneRedArmy
    If thats "sensible, realistic and stringent" then God help us all...........
    The point is that the FAI seems to have learned from those mistakes and this year's process is more sensible and realistic. As for stringent, we have yet to see.

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    Seasoned Pro OneRedArmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bald Student
    The point is that the FAI seems to have learned from those mistakes and this year's process is more sensible and realistic. As for stringent, we have yet to see.
    I certainly haven`t seen them admit that last years licensing was a procedural joke, & that would seem to be the logical first step in putting something right. As for this years awarding process, we`ll have to wait & see.

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    Well everyone make sure to have their mobiles turned on that morning so if they need to co opt you onto the board you'll be available
    Tifo poles, sausage rolls and a few goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OneRedArmy
    I certainly haven`t seen them admit that last years licensing was a procedural joke, & that would seem to be the logical first step
    I agree with you there but I'm not worried about admissions of guilt. What matters is actions, not words.

    Quote Originally Posted by OneRedArmy
    As for this years awarding process, we`ll have to wait & see.
    I agree with you there too. I think that they're off to a good start with this years manual though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pete
    I do think rules do need to be enforced but that starts with setting realistic & achievable rules.

    Improvement will only come along by baby steps.
    agreed

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SÓC
    Premier Division teams are meant to have 1500 seats, that's been a rule for years now but never ever applied. Finn Harps, Drogs, UCD to name a few never ever had this in place but were allowed proceed into the Premier Division. Why should we believe that Licencing will be any different?
    That is now a C requirement now - if you don't do it, either

    "The Licensor may sanction the club with:

    (a) an obligation on the club to fulfil criterion within a reasonable timeframe; and/or
    (b) a caution; and/or
    (c) a fine; and/or
    (d) exclusion from FAI National League Premier Division."

    Plenty of room for fudging in the whole thing.

    I've always said that UEFA Licencing is one of the best things to happen to football in this country; the way it's being implemented is not, and is typical of the FAI. Clubs realistically need grant aid to do the things being talked about; until that happens, very little is going to change.

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    First Team paudie's Avatar
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    Anybody think deducting points for non-compliance with licencing requirements is a better option than excluding/relegating teams?

    The league aren't going to relegate teams cos it will be seen as too harsh and clubs know its not going to happen.

    However deduction of points is a regular occcurence for administrative breaches and would be a more realistic threat hanging over teams if they don't get their house in order.
    I'm what? I'm ants at a picnic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu
    "The Licensor may sanction the club with:

    (a) an obligation on the club to fulfil criterion within a reasonable timeframe; and/or
    (b) a caution; and/or
    (c) a fine; and/or
    (d) exclusion from FAI National League Premier Division."

    Plenty of room for fudging in the whole thing.
    Or plenty of room to force that club to get their facilities sorted out in a reasonable timeframe. If that club is given say 2 years, and ideally reasonable funding to match their own resources and still don't meet the C standard it should and would be curtains.

    OneRedArmy, I agree with you that the implementation of the licensing to date has been a shambles. The main error, and problem I've always had with the licensing project was that the standards seemeded to have been written by somebody who had never been to an eL ground in their lives, that clubs were being asked to reach an incredibly high standard in an impossible timescale, without being given any funding.

    Delaney I think it was said recently that there "were mistakes" in the initial attempts to implement licensing and hopefully they'd learned from them. Do you want him to go down on his knees and itemise every single **** up? Actually, don't answer that!!

    If the clubs who voted it in were not taking it seriously, and I could well believe that half of them hadn't read the manual, then they were left in no doubt very soon that this was no cake walk.

    As for clubs not deserving licenses, nobody has any proof of that. Initialy everyone but Derry got Div 1 licenses, and thankfully the League had the sense not to make a laughing stock of the league by going with an unplanned change in league format because of this. They kep the integrity (such as it is) of the domestic league competition and had a re-think about what they were trying to do.

    Licensing is finally going in the right direction, and as I said, the performances of clubs in the financial section will be interesting this year.

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