The Business Section of the Sunday Times yesterday carried a major feature on the financial status of the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland, with contributions from Sport for Business and our member Onside Sponsorship.
The piece was triggered by the potential investment by Dermot desmond of a reported €3 Million in Shamrock Rovers and was headlined as a special report on how Irish clubs could be a goldmine for sports investors.
The principal points we made were in the rewards that can be gained from transfer fees for developing players, as has been shown in the past 18 months by Rovers through their Academy development, and more importantly through the riches that can be gained from qualification for the group stages of European competition.
When Dundalk got to within one round of the Champions’ League in 2016, and qualified for the group games of the Europa League, they earned revenue from UEFA of €7 Million.
In context, that compares to the aggregate revenue of all ten clubs in last season’s Premier League which amounted to €19 million.
Investment in players and facilities can help to unlock the potential of such European runs becoming a norm rather than the exception and in comparison to the billions needed to buy into clubs in the English Premier League the stake money is much lower.
Michael Treacy and his US Investment firm that has bought Dundalk and sold it’s 25 per cent share in Bournemouth in the English Premier League was also part of the story which also featured commentary from Dan Lambert of Bohemians and Tom O’Mahoney from St Patrick’s Athletic.
New investment in facilities planned for Dalymount Park and in Drogheda and Finn Harps in Donegal is another positive element in the future of domestic soccer.
The game is such a generator of wealth across the world that it stands to reason there is likely to be spill over into the smaller Leagues, so long as they retain access to the potential of competing in those European tournaments.
Read the full report from the Sunday Times, written by Sean Pollock and published on August 18th here.