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Thread: Outside Revenue coming into Ireland from the LOI

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    Reserves Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    Outside Revenue coming into Ireland from the LOI

    Okay, a bit of a outside take, but TDLR... This season has shown that LOI has huge potential to bring in revenue from outside Ireland consistently. LOI is very competitive with bringing money into Ireland with other Iirhs sports and should use this as leverage for getting the Government to invest in facilities.




    LOI should be actively looking for investment in facilities from the Government, and one of the ways to do this is to show it can generate money, especially from outside the country.


    LOI has a unique opportunity compared to other sports in Ireland, as its sport is global, and has huge amounts of money swashing around in it , from transfers and prize money, which is both accesible to the league. This year, (from my pretty bad maths), LOI has brought in 8.5 million into the country. With proper investment from the Government, this might not become a blip and can be expanded (better transfer deals- better results in Europe).


    I don't know how that compares to total in other sports, but the winner of the 6 nations gets about 6 million, and Leinster took home €600,000 as European Cup tournament winners in 2018. Meanwhile, Goverment subsidies Greyhound Racing to 19 million and that only has attendances of around 80 people. LOI will probably take in more money from outside the country than rugby and definitely generates more interest and goodwill than greyhound racing (don't want to knock either sport).


    The Government is simply missing out by not investing in the league. Tallaght Stadium has been a massive success for its region, both economically and socially, and should be repeated across the country.


    Here are the numbers:

    European Prize money so far (very rough):
    Shamrock Rovers: €3.3mil
    St. Pats: €1 mil (if they beat CSKA)
    Sligo: €850,000
    Derry: €250k


    Total: €5.5 mil

    Transfer Fees (also very rough- fees from Transfermarket):
    Bazunu (add on): €2,085,000
    McNally (add on): €200,000
    Dawson Devoy: €150.000
    Promise: €100,000
    Daniel Mandroiu: 30,000
    Darragh Burns: 150,000


    Total: Probably €3 million with missing transfers

    Complete Total: around €8.5 million.


    That is 8.5 mill without ever considering the domestic generated revenue for clubs (match day, sponsors, domestic price money.. etc etc...)


    If you look at Europe... it is likely that this trend of getting into group stages is set to continue, and is clearly not a one-off. In the 3 years of this decade so far, we already have had two teams in the group stages (Dundalk in 2020, and Rovers this year). The teams that were beaten to achieve this were the champions of Andorra, Moldova, Faroe Islands, Malta and North Macedonia (favourites in each game bar against Sheriff). Unlike the last decade (Rovers 2012, Dundalk 16), neither the Dundalk team in 2020 nor this Shamrock Rovers team are LOI exceptions, they are fairly regular champions (Dundalk was a poor team). My point... especially with two back doors for the champions, it is not crazy to expect a team in the group stage every other year... This means multiple millions coming into Ireland at the very least. This should look to be built on- and there are huge opportunities if the league can push on in Europe for money generation.


    We need to get out of the mindset that the League is a charity, but is a be a proper industry. There is a huge potential for revenue for LOI and for Ireland, with a niche of outside money coming into the country. It is time there is a proper investment into LOI (ala more Tallaght stadiums) and this season has proven it will pay off economically and socially.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    It's a valid point alright. On the one hand, it does seem likely to confirm the league as a one-club league like so many leagues across Europe (which we've managed to avoid until the last couple of years). But if we can generate some trickle-down effect, then it might actually allow clubs get on a more stable footing - thinking in particular being able to afford multi-year player contracts, so increasing transfer fees (including for internal LoI transfers)

    There's definitely huge money to be made with a bit of targetted investment.

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    Reserves Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    The LOI (not even the FAI- There could be a decoupling here) should be using these arguments when lobbying and looking for investment from the government for facilities:


    • The LOI is a capable industry able to bring multiple millions into the country through two separate avenues- European Prize Money and Transfer Fees. Both of these have radically changed in favour of the LOI (expansion of European competitions- more opportunities due to the of change format and back doors, and Brexit changing transfer landscape-).
    • LOI has a strong social contract with its local areas (and can be seen as increasing with the growth of attendances)- more than just a sport but social glue.
    • There now is a blueprint for local and national governments to follow, the Tallaght model. Huge benefits have arisen from this investment and has played a significant role in urban renewal



    I really hope someone within the FAI/LOI is working on this. This year has proven that LOI has a niche in terms of generating revenue that other sports in Ireland do not have access to, is more than capable of growing with the people involved, and has tremendous potential for expansion further into revenue generation. Enough with the sick man of Irish sports- LOI is the real deal.

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    International Prospect Nesta99's Avatar
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    The above arguments coupled with the level of money that St Pats could have made on one game last night, makes the whole Peak6 mess all the more baffling. Buy the club and dont try to fix something that isnt badly broken, conservatively introduce things that can be improved on eg more admin staff, PR, facilities development manager.

    I mention this as regardless of how sensible and possible the above arguments are, the Peak6 debacle, considering their size and standing, has left a negative mark. Throw in the basket case that the FAI has been and the legacy issues from that - From govt to private investors examples like these could be pointed to as reasons to ignore the possibilites and potential and that there isnt much room for growth or return on investment of any substantial amount.

    LoI ha been neglected so badly for so long that it needs a major amount of investment, for which there would be no return over the short and medium term, just to get it to a level where it could actually be a self sustaining league or a net contributor as an industry. There is a social obligation on government to fund things and facilitate the environment for being sustainable but its a hard sell. Has there been a league wide plan put to government that isnt Lucid led on the basis of an All- Island league?

    If the government pledged money to develop the league (not FAI) then is is possible for potential to be fulfilled and lead to things from prizemoney being significantly greater than participation fees to broadening the footprint of stadia/community amenities. Arguably most importantly, professionally run academies is key if the benefits to the national team along with LoI competitiveness creating a positive spiral of financial growth that could make some future return to the public finances. If that were to be really seen as revenue generating we need to build trust that across the board, our young players are getting international standard development for all their years prior to moving on. Ties in to offering longer term contracts that are not almost a financial gamble etc etc.

    Not sure i'm adding much more than a ramble of thoughts here tbh but I think there'd hav to be serious creativity with a proposal to government and convince them that it will take say 20 years for the really tangible civic benefits that are are not niche as is perceived currently. Other major participation sports have had their cuts so its time that politicians are convinced that it is soccer's time for major investment and not allow the Fitzers of the Dail to throw a spanner in the works at every opportunity.

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    Ramble away! I think you’ve started into an interesting point, Nesta. One of the factors in government funding from an exchequer perspective, maybe above social benefits, is how much of that funding comes back to the exchequer. Politicians love blathering about social benefit, but the Department of Finance will always balance the books, and isn't keen on waiting 20 years for the bang for its buck. That bottom line benefit needs to be front and centre in any funding application.

    For every euro spent on building a stand, there’s VAT, income tax, PRSI, corporation tax… somebody here might know the correct figure/formula, but I wouldn’t be surprised if net state funding was as low as 70% of the headline figure (less, if there's EU money). Where the grant can create a new revenue stream, like an academy that generates corporation tax on increased profits, or income tax as youngsters turn professional sooner, or more full-time coaches and admin staff are employed and everyone’s better paid than now, is the gift that keeps on giving to the state.

    I'd like to know what Kiki's calculation (thanks for doing this!) is as a percentage of overall league income, and the league's contribution to the exchequer. Granted, it's exceptional because of Rovers on the Bazunu/Euro run double, but it's a figure that with the right (i.e. targeted) funding could become a reasonable expectation. You could also add the amount spent by visiting fans – say €150 a day per person, with Rovers in the group stages likely to bring in a good number, depending on the draw. Every 1,000 visiting fans for two nights brings €0.3m to the country (about a quarter of that goes to the exchequer, and some will go to clubs in tickets, programmes, memorabilia/souvenirs).


    It's all pie in the sky stuff now, but imagine the exchequer benefit from a fully professional Premier division (first team and u19s), a First where most first teamers are professional, with the coaching and admin staff to support clubs – a thousand people at least earning a living from the game – leading to more European prize money, and, you’d hope, more supporters, and the knock-on benefits for local shops, bars and restaurants on match days, professional services like accountants, marketers, PR firms … God, it’s frustrating dreaming big! Or not even dreaming, in countries where they have this.

    For me, and it’s more personal/professional than purely football, the really dispiriting thing about Peak6 and the like, and the clueless media guff from some clubs (take a bow Bray/North Korea, Waterford’s ‘for sale’ shingle – you may be singled out, but you’ve plenty of company) is how bloody cheap good PR is. You can put a PR consultancy on retainer for two grand a month and get well-written weekly pressers, responses to media queries and social media content, and simple community/stakeholder engagement strategies clubs can implement themselves. No offence to hard-working volunteers who do a lot of this, but there’s a reason your club chooses to pay a keeper rather than nominate someone from the club committee, and the same has to be true for PR!
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

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    Interesting Irish Times article on the topic - municipal/county council builds a la
    Tallaght are undoubtedly the model for the rest of the league, but perhaps unmentioned is that many local authorities are themselves operating off a limited budget - maybe if supporters raise a certain proportion through bonds or crowdfunding, that would then be matched by businesses and/or government?

    https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soc...the-dark-ages/

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by culloty82 View Post
    Interesting Irish Times article on the topic - municipal/county council builds a la
    Tallaght are undoubtedly the model for the rest of the league, but perhaps unmentioned is that many local authorities are themselves operating off a limited budget - maybe if supporters raise a certain proportion through bonds or crowdfunding, that would then be matched by businesses and/or government?

    https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soc...the-dark-ages/

    I think this is the issue that faces most stadium builds in the country, when people are suggesting county council municipal builds. Donegal County Council are the driving force behind the new Harps stadium, but are only able to put €500k into the build.

    It's well and good suggesting these sort of builds, but the onus is still on the clubs to raise a fair whack of cash themselves.

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    Reserves Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    The funds have to come in from the National Government, and there are options for this. For example, redirecting the 19 million that goes to greyhound racing, redirecting the revenue created from the gambling tax (to accurately reflect which sports are being betted on- which would be a major boost for soccer, as it is the most betted on the sport), or raise the betting tax from 2 percent to 3 percent, giving all the extra revenue to local councils to build stadiums.

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    International Prospect Nesta99's Avatar
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    I think it is necessary for any club to contribute to a project, but I also think that the bulk of capital funding should be applied for via a Local Authority, the reasons are pretty obvious going on the history of club only projects. It should be designated funding from central govt. rather than impact of a council's annual budget. Annually there is a standoff between LouthCoCo and the elected members headed by Sein Fein on the thorny issue of LPTs, there has never been an increase and have been set at the lowest possible level from the start. Each to their own on whether this is the correct strategy from the elected members but at the coalface it results significant shortfalls in budgets and services being paired back to a minimum for everything from dealing with litter to processing of planning applications, yet the councilors moan continuously at a lack of services. It certainly does not allow for a cash reserve to be built that could, in theory, be invested in a facility like Tallaght which then generates money to help build up finances lol. As a side issue both Dundalk UDC and Drogheda Corp did have significant cash reserves (enough for 2 nice big stands in their respective areas) but when the local govenment act, a while back, required the County Councils to be the senior authority the cash reserves were emptied to bail out Louth CoCo which was on the verge of bankruptcy, had damn all staff and needed to find ways to recruit to fulfill their role, rebrand and get equipment etc. There was also sorts of rubbish all over the country with double and triplication of jobs waiting for people to retire. We did get and nice new County Hall in Dundalk which has been extended a number of times since though.

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    First Team joey B's Avatar
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    https://m.independent.ie/sport/socce...-41924512.html

    Interesting article with Conor Hoey of Drogheda actively searching for outside investment for his club,definitely seems to be a bigger gap between the top 6/7 clubs and the rest opening up and with clubs like Galway and Waterford seemingly able to spend it’s an interesting time,going forward it’s looking like it’s going to be tougher for the likes of Drogheda and ourselves to compete with the current model we have….
    Irish by birth ,Harps by the grace of god.

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    "Disappear into the first division" and "30 minutes from Dublin Airport" really stand out. Only the clubs in top tier will matter (10) and most based in Dublin region, with 2/3 for the rest of the country. How about we have some balance (regional and in terms of the number of clubs) in Ireland in how we spend money from the public purse. No problem if he gets private investment into their club, and fair play if they do, but getting public money to pay for their facilities and their private investment allows then to outbid others clubs for players is no benefit to the common good.

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    Reserves Kiki Balboa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonder88 View Post
    "Disappear into the first division" and "30 minutes from Dublin Airport" really stand out. Only the clubs in top tier will matter (10) and most based in Dublin region, with 2/3 for the rest of the country. How about we have some balance (regional and in terms of the number of clubs) in Ireland in how we spend money from the public purse. No problem if he gets private investment into their club, and fair play if they do, but getting public money to pay for their facilities and their private investment allows then to outbid others clubs for players is no benefit to the common good.
    Is Drogheda not regional to you? For me, it definetly is. It is a town suffering badly under the utter terrible urban Planning in the country. Their plans for the stadium would not only benefit United, but all of the junior clubs in town, as they are dying off due to a lack of pitches. Drogheda should be a high priority stadium for this reason for me.

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    International Prospect Nesta99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joey B View Post
    https://m.independent.ie/sport/socce...-41924512.html

    Interesting article with Conor Hoey of Drogheda actively searching for outside investment for his club,definitely seems to be a bigger gap between the top 6/7 clubs and the rest opening up and with clubs like Galway and Waterford seemingly able to spend it’s an interesting time,going forward it’s looking like it’s going to be tougher for the likes of Drogheda and ourselves to compete with the current model we have….
    I dont think Conor Hoey's enthusiasm can be questioned but he still seems to me like he has just made a revolutionary discovery that nobody else has thought of an he is bringing it to the world. That and some selective memory on his clubs past history that he was exceptionally close to and maybe even was directly involved before being up front and central.

    We have two options; stay as the nice little lovely club we are, or bring in external investors.

    Either way generally you cut your cloth, its what budgets are for and why they are now submitted for licensing. Even with investment a lovely little club may be what it can be. Infers speculation, and need for a benefactor as much if not more than investors. If it means 1st Division and ye cut ye cloth so be it at this stage and supposedly the pragmatic way.

    Various stadium plans have derailed. The FAI own it, and there have been ongoing talks between the two parties and Louth County Council. Two different sites are on the radar, a Plan A and a Plan B...

    Bit of a rant here but also some background. Yes the FAI own it and DUFC were quite loud about saying so whenever the FAI were asking for issues to be sorted for licensing ie refusing themselves a license even though its supposedly and independent body. The club billed the FAI in the past for work. The club also expected any proceeds from the sale of United Park to go to DUFC. This would be in line with the original agreement made when the FAI bought United Park early 90s, 1992 I think for a 5 figure sum (30k or so is in the head but Im not totally sure) to help Drogs from going to the wall. This almost changed during a Delaney led assessment of FAI assets. Certainly Drogheda got a very good deal from the FAI and the arrangement was actually suggested by a former chairman of the league and Dundalk in conjunction with an honourary member of the FAI and UEFA and put to a former Dundalk CEO then at the FAI, and supported by other clubs, indeed setting a precedent that caused issues with some clubs years after. A lot of this came out in the wash during a pre-planning meeting and during preliminary work for Louth Sports Partnership and subsequent sporting audits among other things.
    Plans A,B, were aborted for a number of reasons but one included 10k housing units/apartments (circa 30k people) with no consideration for schools, policing etc ye know, the stuff that large sized communities and developments need. Another involved using the M1 hard shoulder and off ramps for parking with busses running from the town centre parking areas, the NRA objected funnily enough. It was to be based on IK Start's ground, similar capacity, lovely, but would have sucked up the value of United Park sale, developed with high density units (or the equivalent value if bought by the HSE) €15 to €20mil mentioned, govt grants, Louh CoCo paying for the groundworks and servicing of the site with roads, sewage etc. and then the sale of housing and rental of retail unitis to reimburse the investment by people who saw the $$ getting in on the act of DUFC under the Doolin years and the hope of leveraging things with the planning authorities - planners have their moments but even this become known as Pie in the Sky Park.
    Looking at the Lourdes Stadium could be a plan C but that wasnt fully DUFC I dont think. There was hope of Coca Cola leaving a legacy of a site and sponsorship of the club for the town but it was south of the river which was divisive (boom) and the site was valuable though was sold off by an initial buyer at a loss, not that long ago either iirc. So the landbank the council are willing to offer the club would be plan D maybe E, Conor can call it plan A+++

    I’d be showing a potential investor what we are intending to do, not what we are now. I wouldn’t let them see the ground and fool them into thinking that is Drogheda United. I’d show them the contract and sell-on clause I sold Killian Phillips to Crystal Palace for....we’re hoping for a Matt Doherty or a Gavin Bazunu payday down the line.

    So he'd lie to investors and hope for an academy success? Sound business strategy that has never been tried before.

    risk in changing model is that jumping too soon could unsettle key Drogheda performers. Skilful playmaker Darragh Markey (25) is trying to develop a career outside the game.Ask individuals to give that up and they could go elsewhere...“Maybe there’s something in the middle, a hybrid...I wouldn’t want to go full-time and lose Darragh Markey because of it. It’s a work in progress, but the game in this country is going that way, I’m 100pc certain of that.

    Hybrid has and is being done for quite a while so he certainly can be 100% on that! players have been lost or not signed as a result of work commitments for years and managing training, a Drog person should know considering their mid noughties history. FT evening training is hardly uncommon in LoI never mind other sports.

    We just need some more money because it can’t last forever the way we’re running it.

    Well thats news to everyone...but it can last if budgets are stuck to though he probably does mean at LoI competitive level...maybe


    It may not sound prudent to declare that the only way to beat the clubs above is to join them, but there is a pragmatism lying behind it. Hoey just knows they won’t be able to do it on their own.

    This is a comment by Dan and filling space, but my irked attitude is that Drogheda United proposed a league structure that excluded Dundalk FC and others in the past and were open and unapologetic about it being based on a 'rivalry' and when pointed out that it was shortsighted they shrugged their shoulders. Its moving off thread but if Conor Hoey is a leading voice in future proposals they wont be ground breaking. I know his Dad Vincent is very highly regarded by Drog fans but he gambled and lost almost catastrophically and ending the club. He may have just been blinded by his love of the club rather than others that were welcomed on board seeing an opportunity to use the club. Conor is or at least should be in a unique position to see the pitfalls including what he is saying publicly and how it can be seen.
    Last edited by Nesta99; 20/08/2022 at 11:01 PM.

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