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 extratime.ie 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.