Six facts about the current state of soccer in Ireland

Six facts about the current state of soccer in Ireland

THE FAI, Ireland's governing body for soccer, released their comprehensive consultation report for public viewing on Tuesday night, and we’ve since sifted through the 75-page report to pick out the most damning admissions about the current state of the League of Ireland, the nation's divisional structure for the sport.

  1. 1. Almost three quarters of League of Ireland clubs are operating at a financial loss – “In 2014, the combined turnover of the 20 League clubs was approximately €13 million, with six clubs returning profits.”

  2. 2. Clubs who fail to get up to speed from a business, sporting and community perspective by 2020 face banishment – “Only those clubs who reach the standards in 2020 [will] be eligible for participation in the League.”

  3. 3. The large majority of players have no job security – “Over 85% of players are on one-year contracts and this leads to uncertainty and instability for the player and the clubs, in many cases.”

  4. 4. The quality of play is getting weaker - “The technical skills of the players are generally perceived not to be at the levels of some ten years ago, a fact attributed by some to the younger age profile and an absence of experience and maturity of the players in today’s game.”

  5. 5. Lack of resources are preventing clubs from being run adequately - “With the limited number of business-qualified, dedicated resources within the administrations, the absence of any formal planning in off-field activities in the majority of clubs is an understandable but a very significant weakness.”

  6. 6. It’s not all doom and gloom though as attendances remain stable – “Overall, attendances are moving in a marginally positive manner and while figures are naturally affected by the success of one particular club from time to time, and the effects of seasonal promotion and relegation issues, this has always been the case.”

As for what’s happening on the pitch, read our five talking points following last weekend’s games.