Conor Hayes is here to discuss the top three conclusions from this week’s action in the League of Ireland.
1. A glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel for Bohemians
In the aftermath of Ireland securing hosting rights to Euro 2020 games, John Delaney stated his desire to redevelop Dalymount Park. The stadium would act as part of the legacy of the tournament with the famous old ground housing both Shelbourne and Bohemians. It was a shock to followers of the league that Delaney remembered the domestic game existed at all given his overarching obsession with the national team.
For Bohemians supporters it was a more pleasant surprise as it may offer a way out of their debt laden mess, which threatens the existence of the North Dublin outfit itself. There has been wonderful work done behind the scenes by the board in Phibsboro to keep the team alive over the past few seasons but there is an undeniable feeling of hopelessness that underlines the long term prospects of the club.
Delaney’s words were therefore clung on to like a life-raft by Bohs fans but at the moment that is all they are – words. There are many obstacles that lie on the path ahead for such a proposal to succeed not least what other clubs might think of such a boost being given to one member of the league, or two, if Shels are to be involved.
The history of Irish football and Dalymount Park are mutually exclusive though, one cannot be told without the other. Saving it from becoming a nondescript apartment block would be a great service to the game here. It is the type of vision that we are constantly being told John Delaney possesses. He now has a chance to back up his words with action.
2. A turbulent season at The Showgrounds continues
Sligo Rovers are on the lookout for their third manager in the space of four months after John Coleman returned to his former club Accrington Stanley this week. Although he improved the team’s points per game ratio since taking over from the sacked Ian Baraclough, as well as securing that famous win in Trondheim there seemed to be few tears shed over the news by the Bit O’Red supporters this week.
He certainly took the reins with enough time to make a charge up the table towards the European places but this never materialised. The transfer window saw a number of coming and goings, which disappointed the Showgrounds faithful, particularly loaning out Joseph Ndo to Limerick.
The revolving door policy in July suggests that tougher days may be ahead for Sligo as slashing the wage bill appeared to be the ultimate priority. Fans of the club will hope such doom mongering proves to be false and a new managerial appointment (hopefully for a longer term) can revitalise the club.
3. UEFA are getting some things right with FFP
We are always quick to jump on football administrators for their unending ability to make the easy decision instead of the right one, their callousness to supporters and in particular their favourtism towards the behemoths of the game. We do all that because it’s true most of the time and that is why yesterday’s news that fines collected from clubs who fell foul of Financial Fair Play regulations will be distributed to compliant clubs was a nice surprise.
The news in particular will interest the four League of Ireland clubs who competed in last season’s UEFA competitions meaning St. Pat’s, Derry, Drogheda and Sligo Rovers will each receive €31,140 collected from clubs such as PSG and Manchester City. While the punishment for breaking the FFP rules can still be seen as too lenient at least many of the smaller clubs who steer clear of trouble will experience a benefit from their indiscretions.
Conor Hayes, Pundit Arena.