Close sidebar

Loyalty in Irish football -Neale Fenn

In his column with the LOI Blog, Neale Fenn discusses the loyalty, or lack thereof in Irish football.

This week I’m going to be talking about loyalty in football and specifically loyalty in the League of Ireland.

If you think about clubs as a business, they offer players contracts based on economic factors and Market value.

If they can get someone in who wants less money and is just as good as the player they already have then It makes sense to go for the cheaper option.

But what if that player is your club captain or has been a loyal servant for years, should you just cut him loose?

What if he’d turned down moves to other clubs just to stay loyal to his club?

After a disastrous first year at Bohemians, I got myself back in the team under Pat Fenlon and helped the team to the double and then win the league the year after.

At the beginning of my final year the whole squad were told we would have to take pay cuts.
We were told if we did, we would be given an extra years contract at the end of our current deal.
Ok we’ll sign it now we said. We were told we couldn’t sign it there and then but we were ‘promised’ if we did take a pay cut it would be done at the end of the season. So after a few discussions the whole squad decided we would take the cut.

Anyway to cut a long story short I left Bohs at the end of the season with a handshake and a thank you with no mention of an extra year.

My point being, each player is his own business and has to make career decisions on what’s best for him, whether it’s a better lifestyle or salary. Loyalty goes out the window when it comes to feeding your family.

I have no hard feelings towards Bohs or Pat Fenlon. I didn’t go crying to the newspapers, because I learnt a long time ago how football works, and when I see Pat managing in the SPL I wish him luck and hope he makes a good go of it.

See, things like this go on at clubs all over the country that fans never hear about with every player feeling hard done by somewhere along the line.

So LOI fans, this season, try not to give players abuse.
Because it’s not personal, they’re just taking care of business.

Sport Is Everything. Neale Fenn.

Column courtesy of the League of Ireland Blog. The LOI Blog is your number-one site for domestic football in Ireland, why not click here and take a look.

Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at