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Thread: Foot.ie Q&A - Noel Mooney - Answers

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    Capped Player A face's Avatar
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    Foot.ie! Foot.ie Q&A - Noel Mooney - Answers

    Here is a link to the Questions Thread

    Thank you for your questions. Unfortunately not all the questions I received related to my job as the National Promotions Officer so I was unable to answer them. Please find below my answers to the questions that relate to my area of responsibility, the Club Promotions Officers Programme. - Noel Mooney.

    Foot.ie - I would like to thank Noel for part-taking in this Questions & Answers session, and considering his schedule in the last few months but more importantly most recently i think we really have to show some appreciation to him for taking the time out to complete this. I understand that some of the question were out of his remit and he was not in a position to answer them. I think i am partly to blame for that as i should have been more concise when first requesting the questions from the forum. Thanks a million for your contribution Noel and keep up the good work.

    *************************************************

    On average, how successful do you feel the CPO's have been in increasing attendances?

    I have been extremely pleased with the CPOs’ contributions to increased attendances in the eircom League of Ireland this season. When I took on the role, I had a clear vision for where I saw the CPO programme going and with the season coming into the final straight, the CPO programme has exceeded even my own expectations in its first season.

    There are many factors that contribute to attendances but I can only control the CPOs’ effect and I have seen community links being built all over the country that convince me of a far brighter future for the league going forward. Relationships with the likes of schools, soccer clubs, community organizations, ethnic groups etc do take time to build so I believe the most powerful effects from the CPO programme will be even more pronounced over the next number of seasons.

    I have been involved in the league literally from the day I left school and I was so frustrated by the total isolation our clubs existed in from almost all sectors of the community. I was appalled by the sheer apathy clubs and the league showed in promoting themselves in their areas and when the opportunity came up to effect change, I just knew I had to go for it.


    Do you hope to see a bigger increase in attendances next season?

    Up until last weekend, the attendance increase this season over the 2006 season stood at 32.01%. These are based on the figures submitted by the clubs.

    When I joined the FAI, We agreed a minimum of 20% increase so I am delighted that we have exceeded our targets. However, I must stress that we are only in the early stages of a programme that will pay great dividends for the league for many years to come and that includes increased attendances..


    Has the FAI studied other national leagues which have higher attendances and profile than the eircom league, in countries similar to Ireland, in order to identify ways in which to improve the eircom league and if yes which countries?

    Yes. My first meeting was with the English Football League in Preston to learn how they support their clubs in terms of Marketing and building community links and I have also engaged with the Welsh, Scottish, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic Football Associations on the culture within their leagues and how they build community support for their clubs

    Among the ideas which have been introduced as a result of is the Fans Database which allows us to send a club ezine and text messages to those who have registered on our website, www.eircomloi.ie. In addition to looking at other countries we have also sought the opinions of existing LOI fans through a survey at stadiums in May and June and I am always engaging with fans every time I go to a match or involved in a promotion.

    My mind is always open to suggestions or ideas from fans on how to promote clubs and the league and I can be contacted at noel.mooney@fai.ie


    Do you think that the FAI and your team have done enough when it comes to promoting the First Division?

    Cobh Ramblers (Paul Reidy) and Dundalk (Paul Johnstone) both have Club Promotions Officers, which are co-funded by the FAI just like the CPOs at the Premier Division clubs, and I am delighted by the progress of both clubs in forging community relationships since they started in April. The remaining First Division clubs have been invited to partake in all of the CPO training seminars and initiatives as is practicable and the likes of Monaghan United and Limerick 37 have been excellent in sending representatives to many of the CPO meetings. I think you will see more First Division clubs increasing their promotional activities as we progress and that can only be a good thing .


    What is the most innovate scheme developed by a CPO at any club so far?

    Each club has contributed devised innovative schemes during the season and one I took great encouragement from was Galway United’s ‘Give Drugs the boot’ initiative.

    Daniel Walshe, Galway United's Club Promotions Officer met with the Western Drugs Awareness Group and presented to them what linking up with Galway United would do for them in terms of highlighting the dangers of taking drugs. They could use the players/stadium etc to raise the profile of their cause and they agreed to fund the campaign producing Galway United/Give Drugs the Boot merchandise and activities.

    This shows the community that Galway United have a role to play far beyond the football pitch and this is what positions clubs at the centre of the community they represent.

    The players visit schools as part of this message and I really believe this sends out a positive message to our next generation of League of Ireland fans. They associate the club as having values and a soul.


    Have you identified the stigma of 'barstooler' fans of the English Premiership as a particular problem/opportunity?

    I see the increasingly soulless Premiership as being an opportunity for the League of Ireland in the future. I enjoy watching Premiership soccer as it is an opportunity to watch many of the best players in the world. Come to think of it, I would watch soccer from any part of the world and at any level.

    However, the Premiership is changing rapidly with new investors/owners that are turning it into investment/return game. I believe that if our clubs continue to become more part of the community and we create a new culture of clubs with a vision, purpose, soul, community spirit then I am convinced that we can, over a period of time, convince people that there is benefit in supporting your local club even if you retain an affinity to a club in England or Scotland for that matter.


    You did an experiment with Sligo Rovers before their game with Bray back in August and without doubt, it was a success, but realistically, do you think clubs in the league would be able to afford the level of promotion that went on for that game on a regular basis? Would the FAI subsidise some of the cost?

    The experiment in Sligo was a fantastic experience on many levels (apart from the damn weather on matchday!). I don’t think it is realistic for a club to reach that level for every home match. However, I do believe most of the elements of the promotion can be used for each home match. For example, the signage we left behind only needs a change to the letter for each match. We showed how posters etc can be distributed and put up through engaging with supporters of the club in the town and surrounding areas. An invitation to a school or club does not cost much and in Waterford the invited kids cleaned out the shop twice!. I was really encouraged in Sligo by the attendances for the cup game and the Derry City league game which followed the Bray match. It is difficult to quantify the effects it had on the area after but I learned so much about the club in that week and left convinced that Sligo Rovers has enormous potential.

    I believe clubs are beginning to see local promotion of their games as an investment.
    Last edited by A face; 25/10/2007 at 8:06 PM.
    The SFAI are the governing body for grassroots football in Ireland, not the FAI. Its success or the lack of is all down to them.

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    Capped Player A face's Avatar
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    League Of Ireland fans are a committed bunch. What can we do to help you and the CPO's promote the League?

    Maribor, I think that your club’s fans have a great opportunity to help Noel Martin in performing his role at Derry City. I met with Niall Conway up in Derry to discuss the plans for the Derry City Supporters Trust and how this Trust can form a volunteer promotional workforce to assist Noel in implementing his initiatives giving his work far wider impact and increasing the community spirit of the club and also raise funds for his promotional initiatives which are designed to raise interest and awareness of Derry City FC and thereby increase Derry City’s swelling fanbase.

    I believe this can be replicated or set-up at any eircom League of Ireland club if there is the desire, courage and commitment to achieve it.

    Recently the CPO’s were together for a workshop on Volunteer recruitment and management. They learned how to build a volunteer force and then how to maintain motivation in this force I know the guys and girls really enjoyed the day and I expect to see the CPO's recruiting volunteers to assist them in future.

    I know many of you on this site contribute enormous physical and time consuming labour for your football club but I would love to see a day when the foot.ie forum becomes a hotbed of people that assist in the promotion of their clubs. That is how we will increase attendances, receive better media coverage and be able to fund better clubs by receiving more sponsorship.


    Can you describe a typical working day for both yourself and a Premier Division CPO please?

    I certainly don’t have typical working days or nights for that matter!! I am often in the office (if in Dublin) by 7.30am and may not leave until 9pm. There really are no set times as such because there is so much going on. On Monday mornings, I receive each Club Promotions Officers weekly reports prior to 11am. I go through each report, file them and offer feedback (where necessary). We are building a detailed history of each club’s community work so if someone took over my role in the morning, they could quickly pick up on where everyone is and also be able to review the development of each of the CPOs.

    I then compile the attendance report from the weekend just past to update our records and watch trends of each of the CPO’s clubs.

    After this it is all about attending to meetings or being with clubs I may be meeting with an anti-racism group; a supplier or prospective supplier of promotional equipment; planning and ordering equipment for a club specific promotion; dealing with queries from CPOs or the Club itself on a whole raft of issues or arranging or attending the CPO’s next development training session, I can assure you it is never dull!

    The Club Promotions Officer week begins with submitting their report from the previous week and then club/school/group visits need to be organised and achieved. They will organise the match day activities, plan and implement the promotion of their next home match to boost attendances, meet with key stakeholders in the area such as the gardai, local leagues, the local council, local companies with sports and social clubs, FAI or other Soccer camps bringing tickets/players etc, meet the supporters club, arrange a blitz for local schoolboy clubs, increase their clubs fans database, arrange a promotion in their local shopping centre, work with the clubs travel club (if applicable), doing an article for club programme/website, developing a new marketing strategy/initiative, getting an advertisement or article placed in local newspaper/radio, attending club meetings, arranging players to attend an awards ceremony for a schoolboy club, meeting the local junior leagues, meeting the local FAI RDO to develop their relationship and see how many gigs they can link up on together to promote the club in the community, arranging a local soccer world-cup to assist in the integration of foreign nationals into Irish society….again, it can very diverse but the weekly report and their own personal objectives must drive their activities.


    What targets have CPO's got to meet? How is it broke down (i.e. weekly, monthly etc.? How long are the contracts they've been given? If it's 1 year and targets aren't met I presume they won't get it renewed, unlike John Delaney?

    The Club Promotions Officers are employed directly by the clubs and they are on standard employment contracts. They have a number of specific targets and these vary from club to club depending on the aspirations of the club who employ them. Because they are employed directly by the clubs it would be wrong of me to discuss any further details of their contracts in public. I think your remark about John Delaney is extremely unfair and shows a lack of understanding of the work he is doing as Chief Executive of the FAI.


    Is it fair on the CPO's to be asked to promote the league with the knowledge that a farce like this [moving the FAI Cup Final] is always around the corner, making their jobs to convince people to attend the league much harder?

    The FAI Ford Cup Final is on December 2 because the RDS were unable to accommodate us on November 25 due to a large number of other events being held that date at the venue. They felt that putting another 18,000 people into the RDS that afternoon would have led to massive congestion. Having attracted crowds in excess of 15,000 to each of the last two cup finals it would have been wrong to stage it in a smaller venue especially as a cup final is a massive opportunity for the CPO's attached to the two finalists to promote their clubs in their respective communities. I do not believe it will impact on the work of the CPO’s whatsoever. The extra time will allow us to work harder on marketing and promoting the fixture. I am not altogether sure how this will contribute to people not choosing to attend an eircom League of Ireland match. What if we chose to play it in Wales? What if we let our biggest club to withdraw from it next season? Both of these incidents occurred with the FA Cup in England in recent years. Also, the cup final would have taken place two weeks after the season. The change is only one week. As a footballer, I would love the added build up to the fixture. I would feel even more prepared for the fixture. As regards holidays, I would gladly have cancelled every holiday I would ever take in my life again to play in an FAI Cup Final.


    The clubs promotions programme, do you know if there is anything similar carried out in leagues across Europe (obviously there is in the bigger leagues, I'd be referring more towards leagues of similar standard and resources etc.) What kind of success have they had?

    I am not aware of any similar schemes throughout Europe outside of the Football in the Community model in England/Scotland. The Football in the Community scheme in the UK was formed in 1986 against a backdrop of hooliganism and falling attendances. This was the start of English clubs becoming far more than just teams. They were going to tackle social inclusion issues, coach soccer in schools and clubs, open the doors of their stadium to as many community groups as possible. The turnaround in the graph they kindly sent me is very dramatic. You can see an arrest in the decline in attendances in 87,88 and then the curve begins to arch dramatically upwards.


    CPO's were given a target of (I think) a 35% increase in crowds this year. This hasn't happened. What other measures are used in judging CPOs' performances? Does the FAI have the power to replace them? How successful has it been?

    The CPO Scheme has been very successful and we are already beginning to see the benefits of clubs putting down roots in their local communities. Because the CPO's are employed directly by the clubs they were given different targets depending on the aspirations of their clubs. It would be wrong for me to go into the sort of detail you are looking for because the CPO's are not directly employed by the FAI. At the moment the average rise in attendance from 2006 is in excess of 32.01 % and that is well ahead of the 20 % target we set ourselves at the start of the season.


    What's the story with regards Longford and Sligo? Have heard these two clubs mentioned as places where the CPO scheme isn't working at all as planned.

    This is simply not accurate..
    The SFAI are the governing body for grassroots football in Ireland, not the FAI. Its success or the lack of is all down to them.

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    International Prospect jebus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A face View Post


    Have you identified the stigma of 'barstooler' fans of the English Premiership as a particular problem/opportunity?

    I see the increasingly soulless Premiership as being an opportunity for the League of Ireland in the future. I enjoy watching Premiership soccer as it is an opportunity to watch many of the best players in the world. Come to think of it, I would watch soccer from any part of the world and at any level.

    However, the Premiership is changing rapidly with new investors/owners that are turning it into investment/return game. I believe that if our clubs continue to become more part of the community and we create a new culture of clubs with a vision, purpose, soul, community spirit then I am convinced that we can, over a period of time, convince people that there is benefit in supporting your local club even if you retain an affinity to a club in England or Scotland for that matter.

    Good answer, and fair play to Noel for opening a dialogue with us in the first place

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    Viva El Presidente! sligoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noel Mooney
    I think your remark about John Delaney is extremely unfair and shows a lack of understanding of the work he is doing as Chief Executive of the FAI.

    -----------
    What's the story with regards Longford and Sligo? Have heard these two clubs mentioned as places where the CPO scheme isn't working at all as planned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noel Mooney
    This is simply not accurate..
    Can't speak for Longford but he's lying about Rovers one.

    Good overall but seems to be avoiding a lot of questions.
    Life without Rovers, it makes no sense...it's a heartache...nothing but a fools game. S.R.F.C.


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    Capped Player A face's Avatar
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    eircom League Resources Thread updated now as well.
    The SFAI are the governing body for grassroots football in Ireland, not the FAI. Its success or the lack of is all down to them.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sligoman View Post
    Can't speak for Longford but he's lying about Rovers one.
    Yeah, that was my question. Have heard various things about both clubs (not just on here), and I don't think that's an accurate answer.

    There's three things on in the RDS on the 25th, and two on on the 2nd. Hardly justification for moving the event, especially if (as should have been the case), the FAI had the RDS booked at the start of the season.

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    Face, is that all the questions? I remember plenty of others.

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    Coach John83's Avatar
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    I notice a lot of unanswered questions. Some of them were understandable, others less so. For example, why was this question from Poor Student ignored?
    "Glancing over the papers today one can see very little coverage is given to the LOI or in some papers none at all in spite of the fact that two FAI Cup quarter finals took place last night. Is enough being done to persuade papers to give better and more prominent coverage to the league?"

    or this by Maribor:
    "What is the most innovate scheme developed by a CPO at any club so far?"

    monutdfc's
    "Do you enjoy your job?
    Do you get disheartened sometimes, when you see hordes going off to England/Scotland every weekend? or when Sunderland are afforded a weekly column in the Irish Times?
    What do you think of Niall Quinn's courting of the Irish football public?
    What's the best way to "convert" an English Premiership fan?
    Are facilities a major impediment to growing eLoI support?"


    Why are fans being fined for trying to bring colour and atmosphere to games? This is something that can really make a difference between being live at games and watching a game on TV.
    I think it's common sense that lighting flares in a crowd of people is a safety risk but there should be an arrangement that these "displays" are possible in controlled environments. Is this in any way possible?

    Is the Genesis Report written after the 2002 World Cup available for fans to read?

    Why was UCD's fixture tonight advertised by the FAI as an 8pm kick off?
    Again, does this not fly in the face of what CPOs are trying to acheive when the FAI get such basic, public info wrong?
    Dental Plan

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    International Prospect micls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John83 View Post

    or this by Maribor:
    "What is the most innovate scheme developed by a CPO at any club so far?"
    That was answered.

    Agree with the rest. Id say he refused to answer the fines one because he has no control over it and probably as likely as us to be fined if he disagrees with the FAI

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    Viva El Presidente! sligoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John83 View Post
    I notice a lot of unanswered questions. Some of them were understandable, others less so.
    Me thinks he's been working for the FAI too long and they've taught him how to avoid questions well.
    Last edited by sligoman; 25/10/2007 at 11:24 PM. Reason: spelling...
    Life without Rovers, it makes no sense...it's a heartache...nothing but a fools game. S.R.F.C.


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    Coach John83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sligoman View Post
    Me thinks he's been working for the FAI too long and they've thought him how to avoid questions well.
    Having heard Eoin Rice answer a straight question about a document with some interesting theories which seemed to assume that the document in question was moving at relativistic speed, I'm familiar with that particular brand of duckspeak.
    Dental Plan

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    International Prospect DmanDmythDledge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sligoman View Post
    Me thinks he's been working for the FAI too long and they've thought him how to avoid questions well.
    I'd say it's more likely that he's been ordered not to answer them.

    RE the cup final: didn't Delaney say publicly that it was moved because of the WC draw?

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    Coach John83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DmanDmythDledge View Post
    RE the cup final: didn't Delaney say publicly that it was moved because of the WC draw?
    27/09/07

    from todays indo
    WITH no final venue and no confirmed date, the FAI Ford Cup is in chaos.
    FAI chiefs are hastily trying to defuse the extraordinary crisis which is threatening to hold the Blue Riband event of domestic soccer up for ridicule.
    The FAI had targeted the RDS on November 25 for the final but no contracts have been signed with the Royal Dublin Society -- eight weeks before the due date.
    When asked if the RDS was still available on November 25, a spokesperson said: "We are in negotiations with the FAI and cannot make any further comment."
    Closed ranks
    Likewise, the FAI has hastily closed its ranks on the final impasse.
    "There is a bit of work to be done before we can confirm Cup final arrangements," said a spokesperson.
    It's understood the FAI are stymied by the UB40 concert at the RDS on Monday, November 26.
    They are now looking at staging the final a week later, on Sunday, December 2 with the RDS still the preferred choice of venue.
    The use of Dalymount Park, or even Turner's Cross -- strong Ford connections there -- as alternative final venues is complicated as both Bohemians and Cork City are in the semi-finals.
    Ironically, switching the final from November 25 could appease the sponsors, Ford, as it would mean avoiding a direct clash with the World Cup qualifying draw in Durban that day. But a week's delay would force the two finalists to stump up an extra week's wages for players and staff -- an issue which would not be taken lightly.
    Possibility
    Cork City joined Bohs, UCD and Longford Town in the last four of the competition after their replay defeat of Waterford United on Tuesday night, thus fuelling the mouth-watering possibility of a repeat of the 1992 final between City and Bohs, or Bohs v Longford in 2001.
    While the draw for semi-finals has to be finalised both ties will take place on Friday, October 26 and Sunday, October 28, respectively. Both will be televised live on RTE.
    Seems that the draw was considered a consolation after the ****-up that was not booking the venue in time.
    Dental Plan

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    First Team Student Mullet's Avatar
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    He answered the questions relating to his job which is fair, if a little disappointing.

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    Fair play to Noel , took a lot to answer some of the inane ramblings that people can carry on with here, in Waterford the cpo scheme is running great and I believe that it will really show dividends in the coming years

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    Alot of questions were just general questions that he should have been able to answer and not pass it off as not part of his job!

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    'What is your opinion on an in depth magazine show including highlights v the extensive live coverage we have received this season?'

    I got no response to this seemingly innocuous enquiry and I want my money back.

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    I don't think the FAI allow opinions anymore :x
    Seriously, this reluctance to answer any questions other than those that mention CPO indicate to me the paranoia in the organisation. I have met Noel Mooney and I like the man and I am sure he has answers to all those questions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monutdfc View Post
    I don't think the FAI allow opinions anymore :x
    Seriously, this reluctance to answer any questions other than those that mention CPO indicate to me the paranoia in the organisation. I have met Noel Mooney and I like the man and I am sure he has answers to all those questions.
    Is that not his job he is in charge of managing the cpo project, he aint an fai spokesman

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic View Post
    Alot of questions were just general questions that he should have been able to answer and not pass it off as not part of his job!
    In fairness, he is answering questions in his capacity as promotions officer, so I have no problem with him not dealing with other issues or giving his personal opinion on something. For the most part, I thinkhe has done his job so far very well and although there's a lot more to do, the league has definitely made forward strides.
    Foot.ie's entire existence is predicated on the average idiot's inability to ignore other idiots

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