League of Ireland Premier Division sides Derry City and St. Patrick’s Athletic have dismissed a €5000 grant offered to 20 clubs by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
The governing body last week announced the grant to fund a five-year strategic plan but the amount on offer has been described as “disgraceful and disrespectful” by Derry City chief executive Sean Barrett.
A sum of €100,000 was to be divided among 20 clubs in conjunction with the Premier Clubs Association (PCA) but the backlash from supporters on social media was instant.
Barrett confirmed that his club would not be accepting the FAI’s offer, and stated that the association has shown a clear lack of respect for the league.
I think it’s absolutely disgraceful the way they have treated the clubs. The FAI received €11 million and to throw something like that at us is disgraceful when we as a club on its own have had at least six players coming through Derry City Football Club to go on and play international football.
For us to be treated like that is not only disgraceful, it’s disrespectful and we will be not be accepting that figure. We will be telling them to keep the money. We won’t accept it.
Dublin club St. Patrick’s Athletic were next to denounce the offer from the FAI, and they released a strongly worded statement at half time in last night’s game against, ironically, Derry City.
The release expressed the board’s dissatisfaction with the FAI’s treatment of the 20 league sides, and described the €5000 offer as “crumbs from the rich man’s table”.
The board of SPAFC wants its decision to serve as a clear message to the FAI that it has utterly failed in its responsibility to the domestic game and to those clubs who, in spite of its indifference, have managed to keep some semblance of professionalism within football in Ireland.
While the FAI are yet to formally comment on the decision made by Derry and Pat’s, their Director of Communications Ian Mallon has stated that the move “defies logic”.