Quinn to Fore at Launch of 2020 SSE Airtricity League

Niall Quinn was centre stage at the 2020 launch of the SSE Airtricity League yesterday and the way in which he is open to answering questions is certainly in marked contrast to previous years.

The focus yesterday was to have been primarily on the clubs with managers and players all available for multiple TV, radio, online and print interviews.

They will be appearing across media as the buil=d up to the season continues.

Next Week Sport for Business will carry a round-up of all the commercial deals which are in place across the League.

SSE Airtricity have come on board for one additional year, making it 11 that their name has been associated with the tournament.

That decision was taken in December but no longer-term commitment was given at the time and it remains to be seen whether they will choose to stay on with the League, as a broader partner of the FAI or whether they will depart.

Those discussions are for another day and will frame part of the wider commercial strategy which has at least now begun in earnest with the financial restructure put in place last week.

Quinn’s role is that of Deputy CEO and it is on an interim basis for the moment. It is a role he is well suited to being articulate but also having experience at the boardroom table as Chair of Sunderland and having been involved in a number of business ventures himself.

Yesterday everything was possible but nothing was certain.

Answering questions on the potential for an All Island League as envisaged by Kieran Lucid and which we have reported on extensively, the line was that the clubs would drive what they want but that it could only be supported if there was appetite North of the Border as well.

That is eminently fair and the concept of a willingness to listen as well as talk is encouraging.

The SSE Airtricity League Premier Division gets underway on Friday, February 14th. Four fixtures will take place on the opening day with Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers on Saturday, February 15 at 2 pm, which will be shown live on RTÉ 2.

A week later, the First Division 2020 season will get underway on Friday, February 21.

RTÉ will broadcast 17 matches this season, with three matches already announced in the opening weeks of the campaign. The Dublin Derby will be followed by Derry City v Finn Harps on Friday, February 21st and Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk on Friday, February 28th.

eirSport will continue their coverage of the league with 15 live matches on their platform and coverage set to begin in March. The first live matches for the broadcaster will be announced in the coming weeks.

Image Credit: Sportsfile

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