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Thread: Where might new clubs come from?

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    Where might new clubs come from?

    Couldn’t have been 100 in Cabinteely the other night. Awful place to watch a game. No atmosphere, Awful pitch, no ball boys so Long stoppages in play. Despite all their social media hype you’d have to ask if they’ve really added anything to the league

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    That's a bit harsh ...is say closer to 200 if you added in everyone in the bar and around the place.
    I agree with you on the ballboys they have 1000 kids playing in 50 odd teams you'd think they could organise a Rota. Adding to the league is a good question they are very ambitious about getting a small stadium built and have great underage structures so I'd give them time......stradbrook is a kip, you will find this hard to believe but the pitch is much improved

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    Quote Originally Posted by outspoken View Post
    Couldn’t have been 100 in Cabinteely the other night. Awful place to watch a game. No atmosphere, Awful pitch, no ball boys so Long stoppages in play. Despite all their social media hype you’d have to ask if they’ve really added anything to the league
    If we're honest, Cabinteely are only in the league as the FAI was desperate to make up the numbers.

    The LOI needs more provincial clubs, not more Dublin ones. It's hard enough for provincial clubs to build up support over time even with a clear geographical identity to tap into, for clubs in an already busy Dublin it's been nigh-on impossible - as the likes of Sporting Fingal, St Francis and St James's Gate proved.

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    Banned. Children Banned. Grandchildren Banned. 3 Months. Charlie Darwin's Avatar
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    The last thing the league needs is more provincial clubs. The only one that's contributed anything to the league in decades is Wexford. The fact is that the only places outside of Dublin that can sustain a team already have one.

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    Reserves D24Saint's Avatar
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    Reckon there is a few untapped locations around that could provide solid amateur clubs in the first division, I’d imagine places like Castlebar, Tullamore etc could have clubs.

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    We can split Cork City in two and that’ll give us another club.
    "He mightn't always be right but he's never wrong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    The last thing the league needs is more provincial clubs. The only one that's contributed anything to the league in decades is Wexford. The fact is that the only places outside of Dublin that can sustain a team already have one.
    Nightmare scenario would be promotion for UCD and Cabinteely and relegation for Limerick and Sligo.

    UCD is such a miserable place to go. Photocopied programme; broken down scoreboard (why do they even have a scoreboard?); graveyard atmosphere. Under the delightful evening sun on Friday I noticed something for the first time - the thin layer of dust on all the seats in the stand.

    And Cabineely is even worse.

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    Reserves D24Saint's Avatar
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    As much as I dislike Belfield after listening to the league Podcast last week there was an interview with Evan Osam about getting his education sorted with UCD then continuing his career so in that context they have merit, I don't rate Cabinteely they are just in the league to make up the numbers.

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    I quite like the bowl, we always have good craic there. It's grand for UCD's needs to be honest.

    Cabinteely probably need to get the hell out of Stradbrook and move into something of in Cabinteely and build from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    The last thing the league needs is more provincial clubs. The only one that's contributed anything to the league in decades is Wexford. The fact is that the only places outside of Dublin that can sustain a team already have one.
    To be fair Wexford have contributed but I think you are being a bit hard overlooking Dundalk.

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    Don't see much of a problem with Cabinteely to be honest. They're stuck in limbo in regards building their fan base though until they get their own stadium sorted. Stradbrook is just not suited to football at all. Grand bar, but that's where it ends. A 2,000-3,000 capacity stadium in around their own grounds would serve Cabinteely much better going forward.

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    They are trying to get the Council to build a 2000 seater stadium with a running track in Kilbogget Park where the kids teams play which could be used by them, Seapoint rugby club, the GAA club and the Athletics club all of who are based in the Park (its a big park )
    If that happened which to be honest I doubt,.......... they could then get decent crowds as people could walk to it.
    If it does actually happen they could become a proper addition.

    There is a running track in the Park (a pretty **** one) if they built a couple of small stands around it or terracing it could work for what wouldn't / shouldn't be massive money
    Last edited by sbgawa; 11/06/2018 at 2:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Darwin View Post
    The last thing the league needs is more provincial clubs. The only one that's contributed anything to the league in decades is Wexford. The fact is that the only places outside of Dublin that can sustain a team already have one.
    I'm not sure the facts agree with you here though.

    If you look at the clubs that were introduced to the league since it expanded dramatically in 1984 and 1985 (i.e. in "decades") - Cork and Derry have added a huge amount ; Cobh, Bray and Longford are still around, and as are Wexford after 11 seasons.

    In that time the following Dublin clubs have come and gone : St Francis, St James's Gate, Sporting Fingal, Dublin City, Home Farm Everton.

    There have bene provincial clubs that have hit the wall across that period too (e.g. Kilkenny, Monaghan, Kildare), but not one new Dublin club has survived (the jury's still out on Cabinteely after only 3 seasons).

    There does not appear to be any room in Dublin for clubs to join the league, establish a fan base and survive - let alone compete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    I'm not sure the facts agree with you here though.

    If you look at the clubs that were introduced to the league since it expanded dramatically in 1984 and 1985 (i.e. in "decades") - Cork and Derry have added a huge amount ; Cobh, Bray and Longford are still around, and as are Wexford after 11 seasons.

    In that time the following Dublin clubs have come and gone : St Francis, St James's Gate, Sporting Fingal, Dublin City, Home Farm Everton.

    There have bene provincial clubs that have hit the wall across that period too (e.g. Kilkenny, Monaghan, Kildare), but not one new Dublin club has survived (the jury's still out on Cabinteely after only 3 seasons).

    There does not appear to be any room in Dublin for clubs to join the league, establish a fan base and survive - let alone compete.
    Well I mean it wouldn't really make sense to include the clubs from the big expansion as that obviously worked. I'm not arguing for more Dublin clubs - I'm saying the league doesn't need more provincial clubs.

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    It would be great to see more clubs in the league, but as I see it, there are four obvious issues with expansion:
    1: a club needs a population base to sustain even an amateur club and infrastructure;
    2: a club can’t neighbour an existing club;
    3: a club can’t be in the heartland of other sports as the cost of competition would too much at start-up;
    4: it would require FAI and other investment.

    The 2016 census (and including Derry), shows 30 towns with over 15,000 population - I accept it’s an arbitrary figure since Cobh, Longford and Finn Harps have smaller towns. Dublin, Cork, (Derry), Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Drogheda, Dundalk, Bray, Athlone, Wexford and Sligo are top 30 LoI towns, leaving:


    • North Dublin: Swords, Balbriggan, Malahide. Arguably there is room for a team but, as Sporting Fingal and (though not quite the same area) Dublin City showed, an ambitious existing club may fare better than a franchise. GAA and rugby are rivals, and does Dublin need another club?
    • Kildare: Newbridge, Naas, Celbridge, Leixlip. Has the population at county level, but the Kildare County experiment ended badly. No LoI competitor in the county, but it is GAA country.
    • Meath: Navan – GAA country and within Drogheda’s catchment area.
    • Wicklow: Greystones - Bray’s catchment area.
    • Midlands: Portlaoise, Mullingar (Tullamore is outside the top 30). Some potential in Portlaoise, but there is a strong GAA and rugby presence. Mullingar perhaps, but do many Athlone or Longford fans travel from here?
    • South/South-east/South midlands: Carrigaline, Kilkenny, Carlow, Clonmel. Carrigaline is between Cork and Cobh, so it’s a non-runner. Both could go it alone, but Kilkenny and Carlow have promise as a Kilkenny-based club with scholarship link to Carlow IT, but it’s Hurling Central, and home to a defunct team. Is there appetite and goodwill for a reboot? Clonmel is a sporting town – football, GAA, cricket, rugby, rowing – which suggests either a potential fanbase or a fragmented one. Has a Limerick IT campus which could help with a scholarship link. No obvious LoI competitor.
    • South-west: Ennis, Tralee. Tralee has A Championship experience (for good and ill) and an IT for scholarship links. Ennis, likewise, has a Limerick IT campus, albeit limited. Both are GAA counties. Could create an interesting Atlantic corridor from Kerry to Sligo.
    • North: Letterkenny. Too close to Finn Harps who presumably draw fans from it.


    So with an admittedly crude analysis, the only geographically viable areas I can see are:
    North Dublin
    Kildare
    Portlaoise
    Kilkenny-Carlow
    Clonmel
    Ennis
    Tralee

    There may be an appetite in Monaghan or for county-level teams (e.g. Mayo League) and smaller towns with a football tradition – e.g Tullamore and Castlebar– could step up, but the caveats regarding GAA dominance and proximity to existing clubs apply.

    Funding is the biggie: getting a non-league ground up to standard is a luxury when so many league grounds need renovation. You could throw a million at every club and see little for it. The real funding would have to be reduced entry and running costs for clubs, increased league regional marketing and PR spend by a multiple, and new, more valuable sponsorships for clubs and competitions. There would have to be a socio-economic argument to show the benefits to each town and region of participating – level of increased economic activity, sport and education links, social amenity (especially in disadvantaged areas) – and how non-sporting state and private investment could be allocated. That's a lot of hard work and I can't see too many takers.
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    i think one thing the league of ireland is lacking is a regional spread, there is healthy support for LOI around the cities, being a dub would have always been aware of LOI but coaching in a country town in the past few years i have noticed that LOI is not on peoples radars they dont know it exists @all, personally i think theres a potential market out there where local gaa and rugby is **** poor, one obvious place is in carlow and probably a few of the places the poster above has mentioned.

    personally i think alot of these places could sustain a loi if it was run well and sustainably and the grounds were located in the town not miles out(like buckley park as an example).

    Also ive been called daft for suggesting this before, but i think the fai should look at hosting FAI cup semis is nuetral grounds(some demountable seating and some hype) in non loi big towns one north one south- would be a day out for the clubs and fans and could be done like gaa double header with an underage final held also. this might open open peoples eyes to loi in non loi areas.. just a thought...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    It would be great to see more clubs in the league, but as I see it, there are four obvious issues with expansion:
    1: a club needs a population base to sustain even an amateur club and infrastructure;
    2: a club can’t neighbour an existing club;
    3: a club can’t be in the heartland of other sports as the cost of competition would too much at start-up;
    4: it would require FAI and other investment.

    The 2016 census (and including Derry), shows 30 towns with over 15,000 population - I accept it’s an arbitrary figure since Cobh, Longford and Finn Harps have smaller towns. Dublin, Cork, (Derry), Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Drogheda, Dundalk, Bray, Athlone, Wexford and Sligo are top 30 LoI towns, leaving:


    • North Dublin: Swords, Balbriggan, Malahide. Arguably there is room for a team but, as Sporting Fingal and (though not quite the same area) Dublin City showed, an ambitious existing club may fare better than a franchise. GAA and rugby are rivals, and does Dublin need another club?
    • Kildare: Newbridge, Naas, Celbridge, Leixlip. Has the population at county level, but the Kildare County experiment ended badly. No LoI competitor in the county, but it is GAA country.
    • Meath: Navan – GAA country and within Drogheda’s catchment area.
    • Wicklow: Greystones - Bray’s catchment area.
    • Midlands: Portlaoise, Mullingar (Tullamore is outside the top 30). Some potential in Portlaoise, but there is a strong GAA and rugby presence. Mullingar perhaps, but do many Athlone or Longford fans travel from here?
    • South/South-east/South midlands: Carrigaline, Kilkenny, Carlow, Clonmel. Carrigaline is between Cork and Cobh, so it’s a non-runner. Both could go it alone, but Kilkenny and Carlow have promise as a Kilkenny-based club with scholarship link to Carlow IT, but it’s Hurling Central, and home to a defunct team. Is there appetite and goodwill for a reboot? Clonmel is a sporting town – football, GAA, cricket, rugby, rowing – which suggests either a potential fanbase or a fragmented one. Has a Limerick IT campus which could help with a scholarship link. No obvious LoI competitor.
    • South-west: Ennis, Tralee. Tralee has A Championship experience (for good and ill) and an IT for scholarship links. Ennis, likewise, has a Limerick IT campus, albeit limited. Both are GAA counties. Could create an interesting Atlantic corridor from Kerry to Sligo.
    • North: Letterkenny. Too close to Finn Harps who presumably draw fans from it.


    So with an admittedly crude analysis, the only geographically viable areas I can see are:
    North Dublin
    Kildare
    Portlaoise
    Kilkenny-Carlow
    Clonmel
    Ennis
    Tralee

    There may be an appetite in Monaghan or for county-level teams (e.g. Mayo League) and smaller towns with a football tradition – e.g Tullamore and Castlebar– could step up, but the caveats regarding GAA dominance and proximity to existing clubs apply.

    Funding is the biggie: getting a non-league ground up to standard is a luxury when so many league grounds need renovation. You could throw a million at every club and see little for it. The real funding would have to be reduced entry and running costs for clubs, increased league regional marketing and PR spend by a multiple, and new, more valuable sponsorships for clubs and competitions. There would have to be a socio-economic argument to show the benefits to each town and region of participating – level of increased economic activity, sport and education links, social amenity (especially in disadvantaged areas) – and how non-sporting state and private investment could be allocated. That's a lot of hard work and I can't see too many takers.
    A good summary overall - though I'd disagree with a few of the points re particular geographies.

    Up until about 15 years ago there were usually a few ambitious clubs sniffing around looking to join the LOI if possible. Just think of Mullingar Town (or was it Athletic ?) who made it known in the media that they were just waiting for a gap to appear.

    Now, however, things have got so that there are essentially no existing clubs interested in taking the step up - as it would be financial suicide and an unwelcome distraction from their existing/core activity. Until the FAI increases prize and participation money substantially, and ideally also reduces participation costs, then that current situation will continue. There is very little upside and a huge downside to any existing clubs joining the LOI.

    As for a club starting from scratch, they'd fear even worse unless they had serious money behind them and a defined population centre with a specific identity (i..e not somewhere artificial like 'Fingal') that they could have a clear run at. But I just can't see that happening.

    In short - the FAI need to step up and make our league more attractive by upping the prize money. Even a relatively small increase to them would make a big increase to the clubs involved in the game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    A good summary overall - though I'd disagree with a few of the points re particular geographies.
    Like I said, I took a fairly arbitrary approach and what I came up with (hopefully) is open to debate. Are there other geographic areas you think are likely, or do you think I've missed something?

    IIRC, Mullingar Town were being backed by investors who were going to import a lot of lower League players from England, including Ashley Sestanovich. They didn't make it into the league which might have been for the better, the way these things have a habit of turning out here...

    As for the rest, I think we're in complete agreement!

    (Mods: we've gone a bit off topic. Should this be spun out into a new thread or merged with any old one covering similar ground?)
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    Split this out from attendances thread. A league that has reduced in number from 22->20 (and for a bit effectively 19) is not healthy. We need some form of tie to intermediate / junior football so there are candidates to step up. And the league needs to find a way to make the first division a league that is easier to get by in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    I'm not sure the facts agree with you here though.

    If you look at the clubs that were introduced to the league since it expanded dramatically in 1984 and 1985 (i.e. in "decades") - Cork and Derry have added a huge amount ; Cobh, Bray and Longford are still around, and as are Wexford after 11 seasons.

    In that time the following Dublin clubs have come and gone : St Francis, St James's Gate, Sporting Fingal, Dublin City, Home Farm Everton.

    There have bene provincial clubs that have hit the wall across that period too (e.g. Kilkenny, Monaghan, Kildare), but not one new Dublin club has survived (the jury's still out on Cabinteely after only 3 seasons).

    There does not appear to be any room in Dublin for clubs to join the league, establish a fan base and survive - let alone compete.
    Monaghan are still going as they are concentrating on underage and women's football.

    An honourable mention to Newcastlewest who are still with us, now playing in the Limerick Desmond League.

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