The group behind the proposed All Island League for domestic football is to press ahead with discussions among clubs despite last week’s rejection by the Irish Football Association and the Northern Ireland Football League.
In a statement last night they vowed to listen to the concerns expressed by the Leagues and the points raised by clubs as part of their ongoing process of engagement.
“Our financial projections are based on sincere and promising discussions with broadcasters, sponsors and other stakeholders, but of course nothing is certain until a format is agreed and a deal is signed subject to FA approvals, removing the need for a leap of faith on the part of the clubs or FAs,” said the statement.
“Growing the Football Economy through regular cross-border competition gives clubs both large and small a better chance of keeping their brightest stars at home for longer, helping our clubs qualify regularly for European group stage competition, which will entice our mature stars home sooner, and ultimately strengthen the player pool for the two national teams.”
“We plan to continue with the roadmap we have outlined, namely in respect of our engagement with Hypercube and the relevant football stakeholders, and at all times we welcome the input of the two Football Associations.”
“Hypercube’s plan is to initiate a multi-stakeholder data and opinion gathering process over the coming months, which includes stakeholder forums with the FAs, clubs, players, coaches, fans, media and the governments, to garner all views in order to come up with a structure that works for all.”
That extended timetable to engage the clubs will crossover the stated deadline of later this month which the clubs set themselves for creating a long term structure in the League of Ireland from 2021 onwards.
The structure that was in place this year has already been agreed among the clubs and the FAI for next season and a group elected from within the clubs has been working on alternative proposals which were discussed initially at a meeting in Tallaght last month and which will continue to be developed.
Given the seeming broad base of willingness to listen to what the Lucid Group is proposing, it would appear likely that the final call on future structures may now be put back to the Spring.
Read More: Is an All-Island League drawing Closer?