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Thread: Kieran Lucid's All-Ireland League

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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Kieran Lucid's All-Ireland League

    Big write-up on RTE about this recently revealed scheme: https://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2019...island-league/

    All very pie-in-the-sky really, especially to be talking about starting in 2021!
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Reserves D24Saint's Avatar
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    Heard it all before sadly , if anything comes from it I’d would be shocked.

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    International Prospect Martinho II's Avatar
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    with brexit coming up, I can see the chances of having an all ireland league come to fruitation especially if the backstop is down the irish sea. For starters the money will be way more than what the clubs are getting. The only issue is that its all Belfast driven as the headquarters is in Belfast. What on earth is that about I wonder?
    Only catch is there wont be as many teams qualifying for Europe but at least with the top flight and the regionalised lower leagues the games will be played twice only.
    I would be up for change as it will give clubs a chance of visiting grounds up north that you normally never visit. How would they decide on the composition of the leagues though?
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    Seasoned Pro NeverFeltBetter's Avatar
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    Presume it would be based on league position in last separate leagues.
    Author of Never Felt Better (History, Film Reviews).

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    If it started out with 8 LoI teams, 5 IL teams and a final place decided by play-off, what would be the composition after 5 seasons? 10/2? Wonder how the IL clubs would take that.

    They don't seem to care about Europe, so can hardly use that as an excuse.

    Also, where does this leave the idea that a federation has to have a league to have a national team (with standing exemption for Leichtenstein based on size/history of being merged with Switzerland)?

    Interesting to see Brendan Dillon involved; former head of the LoI (until stabbed in the back by Delaney I believe)

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    “Interesting to see Brendan Dillon involved; former head of the LoI (until stabbed in the back by Delaney I believe)”

    In a large club of victims I’d imagine.

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    Looks like a rehash of the same nonsense proposals that creep up every few years
    The Leinster Senior League needs a strong Bohemians

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    If it started out with 8 LoI teams, 5 IL teams and a final place decided by play-off, what would be the composition after 5 seasons? 10/2? Wonder how the IL clubs would take that.

    They don't seem to care about Europe, so can hardly use that as an excuse.
    IL clubs certainly don't act like they care about Europe. Crusaders have even hired their stadium out for a 3 day festival right across the period in which they're playing in the EL, so god knows how they're going to resolve that. Though regardless, IL fans on other forums are still making a big deal about the loss of European slots.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Also, where does this leave the idea that a federation has to have a league to have a national team (with standing exemption for Leichtenstein based on size/history of being merged with Switzerland)?
    That's super easy to resolve - as shown by the likes of Wales, Canada, New Zealand etc.

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    I can understand people being cynical about these particular proposals. But to me there's a reason why an all-island league is an idea which won't go away. And it's because I think it's only a matter of time before one does eventually happen.

    The timing now shouldn't be a surprise either, given that the FAI are in crisis and the LOI deal with them is up for renewal soon (2020 ?). Not to mention the fact the IL is losing one of its 4 European places, so has less to 'lose' in that sense right now.

    If this proposal doesn't go anywhere, I'm pretty certain another one will come along in a few years instead. And then potentially another again after that. Until one finally sticks. The idea won't go away, because it fundamentally makes sense to have 2 weak leagues on a small island join together to make their lot better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    I can understand people being cynical about these particular proposals. But to me there's a reason why an all-island league is an idea which won't go away. And it's because I think it's only a matter of time before one does eventually happen.

    The timing now shouldn't be a surprise either, given that the FAI are in crisis and the LOI deal with them is up for renewal soon (2020 ?). Not to mention the fact the IL is losing one of its 4 European places, so has less to 'lose' in that sense right now.

    If this proposal doesn't go anywhere, I'm pretty certain another one will come along in a few years instead. And then potentially another again after that. Until one finally sticks. The idea won't go away, because it fundamentally makes sense to have 2 weak leagues on a small island join together to make their lot better.
    I love the idea as well. It should certainly bring a bit of excitement and rivalry and might bring more people along to games etc. I do think its interesting to compare the dissolution of yugoslavia and its league into the different countries. While Croatia has performed very well and Dinamo Zagreb did quite well last year in the Europa League there has definitely been a watering down of talent across the region since its dissolution when both Belgrade clubs and Split were considered to be very good footballing clubs. Maribor have been carrying the banner well due to good management and structures but the Slovenien league is also poor. It is a topic that also comes up every now and again in the Balkans but is a non runner for various nationalism issues but it would be interesting given that the LOI consistently has a decent top 3-5 clubs and the N Irl clubs should be able to sustain 2-3 in and around there. What about a rule where there always has to be 2-3 N Irl clubs? Would the European places necessarily have to be affected (run it similar to the way the Celtic League in Rugby used to work?)

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    That's super easy to resolve - as shown by the likes of Wales, Canada, New Zealand etc.
    Well Wales was made start a league by UEFA remember.

    New Zealand and Canada both have national leagues as well.

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    Seasoned Pro Nesta99's Avatar
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    Would haveing the 2 regional championships cover the base is the joint top tier didnt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    IL clubs certainly don't act like they care about Europe. Crusaders have even hired their stadium out for a 3 day festival right across the period in which they're playing in the EL, so god knows how they're going to resolve that. Though regardless, IL fans on other forums are still making a big deal about the loss of European slots.



    That's super easy to resolve - as shown by the likes of Wales, Canada, New Zealand etc.
    What crusaders have done is laughable but let's get the full picture straight here about IL.

    IL clubs don't take Europe seriously yous all say, Linfield are right now in Spain doing an intensive training camp. We're following that up with friendlies against SPL clubs. Is that not taking Europe seriously?

    Irish league football is a part time league albeit some clubs are transitioning to full time. We play winter football and quite often draw teams in mid season or one the top seeds.

    It's not for the want of trying but linfield for example are levels below the likes of Bate, dinamo Zagreb, rosenborg, Celtic etc etc etc. All teams we have drawn in recent years.

    Quote Originally Posted by sparky12345678 View Post
    I love the idea as well. It should certainly bring a bit of excitement and rivalry and might bring more people along to games etc. I do think its interesting to compare the dissolution of yugoslavia and its league into the different countries. While Croatia has performed very well and Dinamo Zagreb did quite well last year in the Europa League there has definitely been a watering down of talent across the region since its dissolution when both Belgrade clubs and Split were considered to be very good footballing clubs. Maribor have been carrying the banner well due to good management and structures but the Slovenien league is also poor. It is a topic that also comes up every now and again in the Balkans but is a non runner for various nationalism issues but it would be interesting given that the LOI consistently has a decent top 3-5 clubs and the N Irl clubs should be able to sustain 2-3 in and around there. What about a rule where there always has to be 2-3 N Irl clubs? Would the European places necessarily have to be affected (run it similar to the way the Celtic League in Rugby used to work?)
    Football is a sport. Teams will sink or swim in the top division and I personally don't believe in having minimum allocation of teams from anywhere to balance a f league format.

    I think the Irish league teams would struggle initially but over time their will be 3/4/5 established teams in the top flight.

    Now that I've written all that I personally think this proposal is pie in the sky

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    I seen this quote in another article on the recent AIL creation.

    “Both the Irish Cup and the FAI Cup would be retained and run by the individual associations, and the retention of the eight European slots on the island — soon to be seven — would depend on discussions with Uefa.

    I think this is will play a massive part in any decision. Fair enough the team that finishes last in the new top AIL league will get as much as a European team but would a mid IL club really vote away their chance of a trophy and a European spot. What I mean by that is ... LOI teams are stronger, so how many of the mid NI teams will be able to compete! At the moment they have a shot at a European spot and a maybe a cup run, that could easily disappear if they are not in the top AIL division, which is extremely likely. Turkeys voting for xmas.
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    With the whole having you're own domestic league bit there's a chance UEFAs ego might give the FAI and the IFA a pass if it means that they can spin it as a sort of football bringing together two groups that are in conflict with each other sort of thing. That's the sort of thing they'd love to be able to use for decades to come, give it a while and you'll see articles titled "how UEFA helped bring peace to the island of ireland"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    Well Wales was made start a league by UEFA remember.
    Wales wasn't made to start a league, as there was no compulsion for national teams to have one at the time. Instead the Welsh FA started the League of Wales in 1992 as a defensive step. They were worried about the continual pressure from African and Asian nations (in particular) about the privileged position of the UK/'Home Nation' teams within FIFA, and felt that the lack of a league made them the weakest link and softest target in all of that. The fact that they magiced a league up in less than a year shows how easy it is to tick the box of having one.

    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    New Zealand and Canada both have national leagues as well.
    Exactly, And under this proposal, north and south would also have 'national leagues' beneath the new structure. This is super easy to resolve in all honesty.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 24/06/2019 at 11:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Bruce View Post
    IL clubs don't take Europe seriously yous all say, Linfield are right now in Spain doing an intensive training camp. We're following that up with friendlies against SPL clubs. Is that not taking Europe seriously?
    Fair point re Linfield. Though they/their current preparations aside, it is hard to argue that actions haven't suggested that IL clubs in general don't treat Europe as seriously as they should. As well as the Crusaders example from this year, most years there seem to have been issues with key players from clubs taking their holiday when European fixtures are on. Didn't the Coleraine Manager AND Assistant Manager both go off on holiday last year across the period their team was in Europe too?

    Even amongst the supporters it's noticeable that there is significantly more passion for European football in the LOI than the IL. This forum has frequent threads obsessing about European football for example: the draws, the coefficients etc. The main Irish League Supporters Forum doesn't even have a dedicated thread about who the Irish League teams are playing this year. It just gets mentioned in passing on another thread. And that's despite it being the off season up the north and there being little else to talk about.

    It's not for no reason that the Irish League is now ranked in the bottom 4 (?) in Europe, and is losing a qualifying space. They really shouldn't be at that level, and it's the result of collectively not treating European games as they should in my view.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 24/06/2019 at 11:21 AM.

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    Largely pie in the sky stuff.

    That being said, an All-Ireland League has merits if it's properly financed, and if it has the proper backing of both associations as well as UEFA.

    €1,000,000 is a step up in TV money alright, but split over 44 current League clubs in IL & LOI, even though the proposal only suggests 34 clubs for some reason, that leaves less than €30k per club. Hardly worth shouting from the rooftops about. A proper TV deal to make it worthwhile would have to push upwards of €4m or €5m.

    14 team Premier and two 10 team regional 'championship' leagues doesn't sound attractive to me either. Leagues splitting and going away from a traditional home/away fixture schedule just doesn't work. There's 44 teams between IL & LOI. 16 team Premier and two 14 team Championships would work home & away. How these leagues would work with promotion/relegation to the intermediate leagues would be key going forward as well allowing for potentially 30 game seasons in both instances with playoffs in Championship leagues.

    April - New Years seems an interesting proposal for league. Finishing up the league in the dead of winter will cause it's own problems though and leaves you with a huge off-season again. If you're looking to keep IL clubs happy with their traditional Christmas schedule, push that to a end April - start Feb season. Gives you about 38-40 weeks to play around with.

    Proper prize money is mentioned, but doesn't suggest exactly where it's going to come from. Relying on big sponsorship and big backing from FAI/IFA is a dangerous game to play for the kind of prize money they're talking about. I'd also wonder what sort of affiliation fees they'd be talking about to ensure there's money to pay out.

    Going live by 2021 is an insanely ambitious prediction.

    It is interesting though, and definitely worth a discussion.

    For the craic however, if you went with their proposals of 14/10/10, you'd be looking at leagues lined out something like this, based on current standings and geographical position, as well as the top 17 from each league:

    Premier: Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Bohs, Derry, St Pats, Sligo, Cork, Waterford, Linfield, Ballymena, Glenavon, Crusaders, Cliftonville, Coleraine

    Ch North: Finn Harps, Glentoran, Institute, Dungannon, Larne, Carrick, Newry, Ards, Dundela, Ballinamallard

    Ch South: UCD, Shelbourne, Limerick, Cabinteely, Bray, Cobh, Longford, Drogheda, Portadown, Warrenpoint

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    Fair point re Linfield. Though they/their current preparations aside, it is hard to argue that actions haven't suggested that IL clubs in general don't treat Europe as seriously as they should. As well as the Crusaders example from this year, most years there seem to have been issues with key players from clubs taking their holiday when European fixtures are on. Didn't the Coleraine Manager AND Assistant Manager both go off on holiday last year across the period their team was in Europe too?

    Even amongst the supporters it's noticeable that there is significantly more passion for European football in the LOI than the IL. This forum has frequent threads obsessing about European football for example: the draws, the coefficients etc. The main Irish League Supporters Forum doesn't even have a dedicated thread about who the Irish League teams are playing this year. It just gets mentioned in passing on another thread. And that's despite it being the off season up the north and there being little else to talk about.

    It's not for no reason that the Irish League is now ranked in the bottom 4 (?) in Europe, and is losing a qualifying space. They really shouldn't be at that level, and it's the result of collectively not treating European games as they should in my view.
    You do make some fair points their which I agree on. It was an annoyance for me when Glenn ferguson arguably the best striker on the island would miss linfields European games to go on holiday. Thankfully no one at linfield does that any more.

    The Irish league though has been under funded, lacked exposure and any exposure it did get was negative. So money hasn't existed in IL football for a long time.

    It is only now that we're getting some decent coverage, crowds going up and more money floating about. I do think in 5 years time IL football will be a different beast to what it is today.

    I do believe our standards are rising but we need a bit of luck in the draws so we can make a few points up and be seeded in the future
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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    Largely pie in the sky stuff.

    That being said, an All-Ireland League has merits if it's properly financed, and if it has the proper backing of both associations as well as UEFA.

    €1,000,000 is a step up in TV money alright, but split over 44 current League clubs in IL & LOI, even though the proposal only suggests 34 clubs for some reason, that leaves less than €30k per club. Hardly worth shouting from the rooftops about. A proper TV deal to make it worthwhile would have to push upwards of €4m or €5m.

    14 team Premier and two 10 team regional 'championship' leagues doesn't sound attractive to me either. Leagues splitting and going away from a traditional home/away fixture schedule just doesn't work. There's 44 teams between IL & LOI. 16 team Premier and two 14 team Championships would work home & away. How these leagues would work with promotion/relegation to the intermediate leagues would be key going forward as well allowing for potentially 30 game seasons in both instances with playoffs in Championship leagues.

    April - New Years seems an interesting proposal for league. Finishing up the league in the dead of winter will cause it's own problems though and leaves you with a huge off-season again. If you're looking to keep IL clubs happy with their traditional Christmas schedule, push that to a end April - start Feb season. Gives you about 38-40 weeks to play around with.

    Proper prize money is mentioned, but doesn't suggest exactly where it's going to come from. Relying on big sponsorship and big backing from FAI/IFA is a dangerous game to play for the kind of prize money they're talking about. I'd also wonder what sort of affiliation fees they'd be talking about to ensure there's money to pay out.

    Going live by 2021 is an insanely ambitious prediction.

    It is interesting though, and definitely worth a discussion.

    For the craic however, if you went with their proposals of 14/10/10, you'd be looking at leagues lined out something like this, based on current standings and geographical position, as well as the top 17 from each league:

    Premier: Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Bohs, Derry, St Pats, Sligo, Cork, Waterford, Linfield, Ballymena, Glenavon, Crusaders, Cliftonville, Coleraine

    Ch North: Finn Harps, Glentoran, Institute, Dungannon, Larne, Carrick, Newry, Ards, Dundela, Ballinamallard

    Ch South: UCD, Shelbourne, Limerick, Cabinteely, Bray, Cobh, Longford, Drogheda, Portadown, Warrenpoint
    Actually looks a decent Premier Division how relegation/promotion would work would be a big factor - especially early on, as would the LOI/IL split (if any minimum number of clubs and for how long). CH South may b a bit rough on Cobh (distance wise)but almost possible to avoid. While I agree it is somewhat vague at this point it is at least good to see people actively looking at ways to improve the Leagues.
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