Dear FAI, your league has started…

The League of Ireland got underway last night but nobody told its governing body, the Football Association of Ireland.

While many other amateur outlets such as our friends at put in countless hours to bring us top notch coverage, the FAI continued its League of Ireland blackout with a grand total of zero mentions via Twitter or Facebook.

Indeed, the last tweet regarding the league came back on March 1st and since then the launch of yet another jersey for the national team (which will probably see the light of day twice at a push) has been the primary focus.

There are cynics out there who are of the opinion that the FAI sees the League of Ireland as nothing more than an inconvenience, a necessity to fall within FIFA’s remit, and it’s hard to prove them wrong.

The League of Ireland has only come under the FAI since 2006 having previously been governed solely by the clubs, and in 2010 the decision was made to renew the arrangement.

However, since then the FAI has shown almost no interest in the league, and not a year goes by without at least one club encountering serious financial difficulties, sometimes to the point of removal from the competition (Monaghan United in 2012 for example).

This is made even more frustrating by the fact that FAI’s Chief Executive John Delaney earns €400,000* while the total  prize money for the League of Ireland is €241,000.

You’ll notice that I’ve not yet referred to the League of Ireland by its official title but I’m reluctant to give a plug to a company that, like the FAI, seems to care little about the competition which bears its name.

The official Airtricity League twitter account is nothing more than a vidiprinter; it churns out latest scores and results with no interaction whatsoever with any of its 4300+ followers.

Social media and public relations, you’re doing them wrong.

While other leagues across the globe, such as MLS and the A-League, continue to grow thanks to progressive attitudes, the League of Ireland stands still.

Of course, living in the shadow of the Premier League’s glitz and glamour is never easy but until the attitudes at the very top change, domestic football in Ireland will continue to be looked down upon by the masses.

*Correction: John Delaney has kindly lowered his wages to €360,000.




Author Details

Neil Sherwin
Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

12 thoughts on “Dear FAI, your league has started…

  1. You’re dead right calling them out on this. You’re bound to get folks saying “ah sure it’s only the internet” but anyone who works with it knows how much exposure you’re missing out on by not keeping your web presence up to date. Major PR fail and as you say shows how little they could care about the domestic league.

  2. The F A I also arranged the announcement of the Internation Squad on the day the League kicks off, how stupid is that.They just dont care as to day its the International news that gets the big headlines, not the League.

  3. Not Surprised
    Heard reports John Delany was singing anti liverpool songs on a flight back from manchester after the utd beat liverpool at old trafford this season!

    SElf promotion is what the head of the FAI seems to be about!

  4. Some FAI officials care a great deal about the League of Ireland.

    It is a great opportunity for them to advance their careers within the national association, without having to worry about outside scrutiny of their administrative competence and can focus their energies on internal politics, power struggles and wheeling and dealing.

  5. They should be absolutely ashamed of themselves,they want fans to spend their money on jerseys to swell the coffers for lining the pockets of trap and delaney et al yet turn a blind eye to grassroots and domestic football,they are a tumour on the league who need removing as soon as possible.

  6. If any business was making a profit and had potential to grow, it would make sense to maximise that potential.
    John Delaney and Fran Gavin should be sacked both as bad businessmen and as bad football drectors. There is enough LOI fans to start an online petition to get rid of them!

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