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Thread: All-Ireland League Thread

  1. #41
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    To put it in basic terms : Irish clubs are generally run on a shoestring.

    An AIL league offers a chance for them to become more financially viable, through more revenue in the game.

    Ask a poor person if they'd rather remain poor - or have a shot at being financially stable.

    Why couldn't clubs go back to 2 leagues if it didn't work out and they needed to ? This could be expressly agreed with UEFA in advance (I see no reason why they wouldn't agree to it).
    But again, you've not given a single shred of evidence that this will improve things as you say it will. What about increased travel and security costs? What about the majority of the IL that will effectively be relegated?

    When it comes to strategic plans, "Why couldn't it work?" just isn't good enough when it comes to mitigating risks.

  2. #42
    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    To put it in basic terms : Irish clubs are generally run on a shoestring.

    An AIL league offers a chance for them to become more financially viable, through more revenue in the game.

    Ask a poor person if they'd rather remain poor - or have a shot at being financially stable.

    Why couldn't clubs go back to 2 leagues if it didn't work out and they needed to ? This could be expressly agreed with UEFA in advance (I see no reason why they wouldn't agree to it).
    There would be no leagues to go back to. If this plan went ahead, then for example, NIFL would be folded. That in itself raises another question. No where in Lucids numbers does he demonstrate who would pick up the tab for broken TV deals, sponsorship other related contracts and redundancy payments for the staff?

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  4. #43
    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    I'd disagree on that. We can't pretend that religion and politics doesn't influence and polarise every aspect of life in Northern Ireland, because it clearly does.

    Football in the north is dominated by clubs from unionist areas or traditions. Just go through in your head all the clubs and you'll see it. That has influenced heavily how the north looks at things in football. The IFA (who's members are drawn up from clubs) has a largely unionist mindset - as seen by its refusal to change the flag or anthem of the NI team, and by the farce around the British anthem being sung at IFA Cup Finals regardless of who features in them. The vast majority of supporters of clubs in the IL are from a unionist background. This is clear form the demographics of the areas the clubs are from, the flags and banners at games etc. A large portion of them want nothing to do with an all-island league out of ideology and politics. That is evident on forums.

    To pretend that religion and politics is irrelevant to all of this is to refuse to see the obvious. There isn't a vaguely popular part of NI life that isn't heavily influenced by religion and politics, and football is no different
    Of course Politics will play a part, but what I am saying is that it is irrelevant to relate that to fans. Why did some journalists feel the need to mention Cliftonville fans as Catholics and Nationalists. Surely most LOI fans are the same. Why not mention that, for example, Cork have mainly Catholic supporters or Rovers are mainly supported by Nationalists. There is no relevance.

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    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    There is also a tendency among a significant number of IL fans to look down on the LOI. Spend a few minutes on their forum and you'll see it.

    Views such as the LOI being a financial basketcase, and the AIL being all about the LOI needing clubs from the north.
    Recent history has demonstrated has shown that several LOI clubs have suffered much more from financial distress compared to their counterparts in the NIFL.

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    Seasoned Pro Nesta99's Avatar
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    There is some real nitty gritty issues of an AIL league above. In N.I. and by extension the I.L pluralist reality exists. This has to be overcome by an AIL and finances are the sweetener or carrot to look beyond history. Now maybe the IL has moved on from the relevence of political or religious background and it is LoI that hasnt. It's a discussion that is needed. The 'need' to mention such things is indicitave of this as within LoI there isnt the historical baggage that is assumed to exist north of the border. Maybe all that is needed is a reassurance. We will see at the Unite the Union Cup whether there is a heavy policing presence which to me will indicate whether the powers that be feel there is no relevance to past identity of a club and fans also.

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  8. #46
    Seasoned Pro Nesta99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Parker View Post
    Recent history has demonstrated has shown that several LOI clubs have suffered much more from financial distress compared to their counterparts in the NIFL.
    How long is the NIFL on the go? It isnt a p!ssing match on which is the more financally stable or sustainable. It has been acknowledged only on Friday by the interim FAI CEO that our own house needs to be in order irrespective of a potential AIL. Both need a shot in the arm so hence the Lucid proposal (grand pun there).

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    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nesta99 View Post
    How long is the NIFL on the go? It isnt a p!ssing match on which is the more financally stable or sustainable. It has been acknowledged only on Friday by the interim FAI CEO that our own house needs to be in order irrespective of a potential AIL. Both need a shot in the arm so hence the Lucid proposal (grand pun there).
    NIFL started in 2013. Prior to that many financial controls had been put in place due to work done by the clubs and the IFA in the preceding years, that helped give stability.

    Club licensing is a perfect example of why many in the North are sceptical of how things operate in the South. It was even admitted at the Dundalk meeting that the Southern licensing process is a tick box exercise. That is far from the rigorous process NIFL clubs go through and must provide monthly reports to the IFA to help confirm that no issues are accruing between license approvals. Have a listen to what Mooney says in that recent podcast, 22 mins in,

    https://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2019...on-new-league/


    In what is a shocking admission, that licensing rules are being ignored, not just FAI requirements, but UEFA license requirements too, in respect of your club! That would just not be allowed by the IFA. How could such different approaches be seen as fair in a new set-up, with 2 different associations taking a different approach to licensing.

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  11. #48
    Seasoned Pro Nesta99's Avatar
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    I will have a listen surely! Licencing was always questioned among LoI fans with some clubs more equal than others, you just have to mention DVDs and Galway to set us Dundalk fans ummm.... 'ranting'. There are other issues you mentioned above though but not elaborated on eg the non issue of (historical?)political or culturel/religion in the NIFL that you claim is a greater issue in LoI. I'm not trying to pin you down, just simply looking for a rationale to some of the opinions you expressed. One of the higher profile questions of IL sides is the apparent disinterest and unprofessional manner in which European participation is treated - managers and players on holidays, grounds booked out for concerts for example. Linfield bucked that trend this year but prior with other clubs it seemed very lax! Not so much an issue for an AIL but hardly a good example of professionalism.

    Perth not having a pro licence is what you refer to with Dundalk. There was a work around obviously but imo the situation where there is a pro licence 'mentor' at a club and a senior coach actively pursuing a pro licence is ok and the rules should make allowances. Perth's achievements this season justifies some flexibility. Its also a system that is common in other countries where the 'manager' role doesnt really happen. That particular rule has changed a couple of times now.
    What I think is a far more ridiculous rule is where a club's ground is granted a licence if there is planning permission for ground developments submitted. Technically a club could play in a public park and get a licence as long as there is a planning submission which is completely daft especially when the planning process itself is massively flawed in itself. I'm exaggerating of course but United and Oriel Parks can currently stand still indefinitely as long as plans are in the works and keep being renewed. Oriel meets minimum standards but the bar needs raising. This wont happen due to funding issues currently. An AIL would open a lot of doors with funding opportunities for the likes of Dundalk as a border club especially and Im sure a significant part of the thinking at Dundalk FC in backing an AIL.
    Last edited by Nesta99; 27/10/2019 at 8:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    But again, you've not given a single shred of evidence that this will improve things as you say it will. What about increased travel and security costs? What about the majority of the IL that will effectively be relegated?

    When it comes to strategic plans, "Why couldn't it work?" just isn't good enough when it comes to mitigating risks.
    I can't provide you with evidence for what will happen in the future. Particularly for something which is a completely new venture. If evidence is what you need to support this, then you'll never support anything in fairness.

    Rather - what can be done is take educated assumptions. For example :

    - A league covering a bigger area & population is likely to be of greater interest (all other things being equal) to advertisers, broadcasters, sponsors etc than one which covers a smaller area. This is just how the marketing world works.
    - Both the IL and the LOI are badly run currently, and receive zero marketing. It is therefore safe to assume that an AIL would do better than that on both scores (otherwise - why would they bother at all ?). And it's reasonable to assume that (again, other things being equal) a product which is marketed will do better than one which isn't. I think the potential upside here is actually quite big, if it's done well.
    - The standard of the top level of an AIL is essentially guaranteed to be better than either the LOI or IL are individually. Because it would combine the best from both. So it would be a higher quality product from Day One.
    - The novelty factor alone would give the AIL an initial boost (which could then be built upon to create ongoing interest). People and the media like new stuff. It'd be interesting, fresh, possibly even a little edgy. In short - a much easier sell than 2 leagues which have been around for 98yrs and 138 years and have done little to genuinely excite anyone for about the last 50 of those.
    - I can see the attraction of a better TV deal for an AIL than for either the IL or LOI individually. Again - due to newness, scale, improved quality etc. Summer football will be very marketable to help fill schedules - which rules the IL out at the moment (not to mention the quality). I also think no-one has really tried hard to secure a good TV deal for Irish football, because those running it clearly don't have much faith in the product themselves (problem child anyone ?) and have done nothing to get it into a sellable state.

    There's some of your evidence there. There are no guarantees available for what will happen in the future, so educated and reasonable assumptions are what we have to work with. And I personally think all the above are pretty reasonable assumptions to make. Personally speaking I just can't see how an AIL WOULDN'T be an improvement on the 2 individuals leagues. As it would be nigh-on impossible to not improve on what we currently have.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 27/10/2019 at 8:32 PM.

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  14. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Parker View Post
    NIFL started in 2013. Prior to that many financial controls had been put in place due to work done by the clubs and the IFA in the preceding years, that helped give stability.

    Club licensing is a perfect example of why many in the North are sceptical of how things operate in the South. It was even admitted at the Dundalk meeting that the Southern licensing process is a tick box exercise. That is far from the rigorous process NIFL clubs go through and must provide monthly reports to the IFA to help confirm that no issues are accruing between license approvals. Have a listen to what Mooney says in that recent podcast, 22 mins in,

    https://www.rte.ie/sport/soccer/2019...on-new-league/


    In what is a shocking admission, that licensing rules are being ignored, not just FAI requirements, but UEFA license requirements too, in respect of your club! That would just not be allowed by the IFA. How could such different approaches be seen as fair in a new set-up, with 2 different associations taking a different approach to licensing.
    These sort of flawed objections pop up a lot. As if an AIL would mean just taking what currently happens and perpetuating it in a new structure.

    The reality is that a new league would be a completely new start run by different people with new rules etc. I'd expect it to take a harder line on the licensing, as it is aiming to be a professional set up. And the bottom line re the FAI not enforcing licensing properly is that they just don't care. The AIL would be run by people who clearly do care about the concept, want it to work, and want it to prosper.

    An AIL would not be business as usual, so any objections assuming it would are almost certainly going to be flawed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Parker View Post
    There would be no leagues to go back to. If this plan went ahead, then for example, NIFL would be folded. That in itself raises another question. No where in Lucids numbers does he demonstrate who would pick up the tab for broken TV deals, sponsorship other related contracts and redundancy payments for the staff?
    It wouldn't be impossible to just go back to separate leagues again if needed in the future. This is something that I imagine could be very easily agreed with UFEA in advance.

    The stuff re winding down the current set ups is well made, but is hardly insurmountable. It's the sort of stuff that would be dealt with in detail if and when the fundamental principle of an all-island league was accepted. We're at first base still on all of this, so no point getting bogged down in such minutiae until the basic idea is supported.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Parker View Post
    Of course Politics will play a part, but what I am saying is that it is irrelevant to relate that to fans. Why did some journalists feel the need to mention Cliftonville fans as Catholics and Nationalists. Surely most LOI fans are the same. Why not mention that, for example, Cork have mainly Catholic supporters or Rovers are mainly supported by Nationalists. There is no relevance.
    Jesus Mr Parker - this is really obvious stuff.

    The general expectation is that those form a nationalist-background would probably be a bit more open-minded about and comfortable with proposals for an all-Ireland structure (in pretty much anything) than those from a unionist one. This is hardly news, and a few hours in the north will confirm that there is huge merit in this short-hand view.

    Therefore Linfield fans not being supportive of an all-Ireland league would hardly be considered noteworthy, for example. But fans of a nationalist/Catholic club would be. Hence it got mentioned.

    I can't believe that needed spelling out TBH

  17. #53
    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    To tired to respond to all that tonight, but will do so at some point tomorrow.

  18. #54
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    I can't provide you with evidence for what will happen in the future. Particularly for something which is a completely new venture. If evidence is what you need to support this, then you'll never support anything in fairness.

    Rather - what can be done is take educated assumptions. For example :

    - A league covering a bigger area & population is likely to be of greater interest (all other things being equal) to advertisers, broadcasters, sponsors etc than one which covers a smaller area. This is just how the marketing world works.
    - Both the IL and the LOI are badly run currently, and receive zero marketing. It is therefore safe to assume that an AIL would do better than that on both scores (otherwise - why would they bother at all ?). And it's reasonable to assume that (again, other things being equal) a product which is marketed will do better than one which isn't. I think the potential upside here is actually quite big, if it's done well.
    - The standard of the top level of an AIL is essentially guaranteed to be better than either the LOI or IL are individually. Because it would combine the best from both. So it would be a higher quality product from Day One.
    - The novelty factor alone would give the AIL an initial boost (which could then be built upon to create ongoing interest). People and the media like new stuff. It'd be interesting, fresh, possibly even a little edgy. In short - a much easier sell than 2 leagues which have been around for 98yrs and 138 years and have done little to genuinely excite anyone for about the last 50 of those.
    - I can see the attraction of a better TV deal for an AIL than for either the IL or LOI individually. Again - due to newness, scale, improved quality etc. Summer football will be very marketable to help fill schedules - which rules the IL out at the moment (not to mention the quality). I also think no-one has really tried hard to secure a good TV deal for Irish football, because those running it clearly don't have much faith in the product themselves (problem child anyone ?) and have done nothing to get it into a sellable state.

    There's some of your evidence there. There are no guarantees available for what will happen in the future, so educated and reasonable assumptions are what we have to work with. And I personally think all the above are pretty reasonable assumptions to make. Personally speaking I just can't see how an AIL WOULDN'T be an improvement on the 2 individuals leagues. As it would be nigh-on impossible to not improve on what we currently have.
    Sorry EYG - but strategically speaking, that post is rubbish


    There's too much "Why wouldn't it work?" and no sign of a "Why would it work?"

    You do need some evidence - even if it's just market research or similar. Otherwise you're just taking another hopeful stab in the dark. I can't believe the amount of times I've had to point this out in this thread. If you went into a multi-national company with an idea similar to one which had failed before, and your only logic was "It has to work now", you'd be laughed out of the place. Seriously, that's not how business decisions are made.

    On some of your individual points -

    + A league covering a bigger area might be of more interest to marketers - but would it be enough? LoI and IL are pretty niche as it is, and a number of clubs struggle to get sponsors. This kind of income would have to support the proposed prize fund - without that income, the whole thing goes belly up
    + It is not remotely safe to assume that an AIL would be satisfactorily marketed. The entire history of the LoI can be summed up as "expect incompetence". Did Ollie Byrne market Shels well? In any event, what does "well marketed" look like? Would it generate any significant extra interest? Sufficient to keep the investors - if that's what they are - happy?
    + On a global level - and that's what you're competing with here - adding Linfield, Coleraine, Ballymena and Crusaders you the LoI is still a ****e league. I cannot understand the mindset of people who think that's what would turn the whole thing around. It's frankly delusional
    + "Fresh", "interesting" and "edgy" are all empty marketing words which don't actually mean anything. You might get some initial interest, sure. But would it last? Doubtful?
    + If summer football is so marketable, where's the LoI"s TV deal?

    The problem here is you're just stating things you'd like to see happen. You've shown no reason why they would happen. Would an AIL be an improvement? Probably. Would it be sufficient of an improvement? Hard to see how. What happens when we don't reach 25 in the UEFA Rankings? ITV Digital all over again as far as I can see.

    I'm in favour of the format btw. 14 team Premier and regionalised First Division - good. But format is the thing that's least broken about football in Ireland. Anyone who thinks TV and sponsorship and season ticket money will come flying in just because Coleraine et al join the LoI is talking utter nonsense.

  19. #55
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    It wouldn't be impossible to just go back to separate leagues again if needed in the future. This is something that I imagine could be very easily agreed with UFEA in advance.

    The stuff re winding down the current set ups is well made, but is hardly insurmountable. It's the sort of stuff that would be dealt with in detail if and when the fundamental principle of an all-island league was accepted. We're at first base still on all of this, so no point getting bogged down in such minutiae until the basic idea is supported.
    Again - no. If this league is due to come in for 2021, as I think the plan is, then the minutiae absolutely need to be there now. The exit plan if the league folds needs to be in place. All the details need to be there now, because that's what clubs are being asked to evaluate.

    I honestly cannot believe this needs spelling out to some people.

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    You seem to be treating ordinary fans on here as if they're Kieran Lucid.

    I have absolutely no doubt that research etc is being done by the team behind the AIL. They appear to be taking a professional & business like approach to it all. The clubs as a whole will maje a very demanding audience, so they know they have to cover the bases.

    So rather than bark at fans on here for not having conducted their own 1,000 sample size in-depth representative telephone and face to face market research to conclusively determine its viability, maybe hold your water & see what the professionals behind it all come up with ?

    After all - you don't have any evidence to show that it wouldn't work either

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  22. #57
    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    I don't know if you're Lucid - I presume you're not - but this is a discussion forum. If you're going to say a plan would work because it's edgy, fresh and new, then the standard discursive response has to be to disagree with such empty marketing speak. You don't reference why this would be any different to the Setanta Cup. You don't say why this summer league would be ripe for a TV deal when the LoI doesn't have (a paying) one. There's lots of holes in your argument.

    I haven't really argued why this wouldn't work because, once again, that's not how these things work. You try find why it would work.

    And I've not been convinced by Mooney in the matter. 25th in Europe by 2025 is a stated aim - I think of the Lucid project; certainly of one of them - and that's not remotely achievable. The videos on the Twitter do a good job of describing a successful league, but don't really say how you get there. If it's the case that the investors are going to put in a million a year or whatever it is to drive this, well then what happens if we don't get to 25th? Do they withdraw their support? What then happens to the clubs who have the 2/3 year player contracts the video espouses? That's a recipe for ITV Digital. A poster earlier likened this to playing Ollie Byrne with the whole league, and there's something in that. Certainly LoI history says that it's the more likely outcome.

    Obviously none of us are involved in the deal itself - but that's no reason to reduce debate on the matter to "This time it'll definitely work.

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    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    These sort of flawed objections pop up a lot. As if an AIL would mean just taking what currently happens and perpetuating it in a new structure.

    The reality is that a new league would be a completely new start run by different people with new rules etc. I'd expect it to take a harder line on the licensing, as it is aiming to be a professional set up. And the bottom line re the FAI not enforcing licensing properly is that they just don't care. The AIL would be run by people who clearly do care about the concept, want it to work, and want it to prosper.

    An AIL would not be business as usual, so any objections assuming it would are almost certainly going to be flawed.
    You mention 'flawed', and it is appropriate that you do so as you are flawed in your assumption that a new AIL would be responsible for Licensing. Currently such rests with the national associations, not league bodies, as per UEFA Statutes.

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    First Team Mr_Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    It wouldn't be impossible to just go back to separate leagues again if needed in the future. This is something that I imagine could be very easily agreed with UFEA in advance.

    The stuff re winding down the current set ups is well made, but is hardly insurmountable. It's the sort of stuff that would be dealt with in detail if and when the fundamental principle of an all-island league was accepted. We're at first base still on all of this, so no point getting bogged down in such minutiae until the basic idea is supported.
    Bogged down in minutiae? Clubs are being asked to commit to this new league in a mater of a few months. We don't have any concrete details, let alone the finer points at this stage! Sure we have been told we cannot even get a commitment from UEFA to the number of European places until the 11th hour and after clubs have signed up to the AIL.

    As "just go back", that doesn't need UEFA approval. However, how do the leagues "just go back" to all their sponsors and TV companies who they have torn up contracts with to jump to an AIL? Do they "just go back" to the staff they made redundant? Not to mention the player contracts that they would have agreed to for an AIL that would need to be terminated.
    Last edited by Mr_Parker; 28/10/2019 at 5:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    Jesus Mr Parker - this is really obvious stuff.

    The general expectation is that those form a nationalist-background would probably be a bit more open-minded about and comfortable with proposals for an all-Ireland structure (in pretty much anything) than those from a unionist one. This is hardly news, and a few hours in the north will confirm that there is huge merit in this short-hand view.

    Therefore Linfield fans not being supportive of an all-Ireland league would hardly be considered noteworthy, for example. But fans of a nationalist/Catholic club would be. Hence it got mentioned.

    I can't believe that needed spelling out TBH
    Except that was not the context in which such descriptions were used.

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