Report next month on city League of Ireland cruxSeptember 21, 2011 - 7:00am
A meeting is to be held in the city next month at which the mediator appointed by the FAI to try and come up with a solution to the League of Ireland situation in Galway will present his findings.
Former County Manager of Tipperary South Riding, Ned O’Connor, was asked by the FAI to meet all interested parties in Galway in relation to participation in the League of Ireland from next season, and he held talks with Mervue United, SD Galway and the Galway United Supporters Trust in July.
With the FAI this week announcing the structure for the 2013 League season, Tribune Sport understands O’Connor has invited Mervue United, SD Galway, Galway United, the Galway United Supporters Trust and the Galway FA to a meeting in the city on Thursday October 4, where he will give his findings and recommendation as to what he feels is the future of the domestic league in Galway.
The FAI – and CEO John Delaney in particular – is understood to be anxious to find some solution to the current situation in Galway which would see a single representative side playing in the League of Ireland next year.
Mervue United and SD Galway are both in the League by right, but attendances have been poor. Galway United, a club with a litany of financial problems, decided not to apply for a licence for the 2012 season once the Galway United Supporters’ Trust pulled its support for the company.
The GUST instead went solo and applied for its own licence, but this application was ruled to have been submitted after the deadline date, and consequently was not considered, leaving hundreds of regular attendees to United games feeling disenfranchised by having no club to support.
The FAI has confirmed the structure of the League for next season, opting to go with a 12-team Premier Division, but there has been no mention of how many teams will play in the First Division.
In a statement this week, the FAI said it would “seek expressions of interest for First Division licences from clubs or new entities for the 2013 season. Interested clubs will be invited to contact the FAI in the first instance after which they will be forwarded a pack and a licensing manual to apply for an Airtricity League First Division license”.
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.