FAI announce decision to join...


FAI announce decision to join League of Ireland Working Group

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The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is joining the Working Group which is set to reconvene and make plans for the future of the domestic league.

The decision to revive the Working Group – this time with FAI involvement - was taken during a conference call on Thursday.

That call was attended by the FAI and the National League Executive Committee, the SSE Airtricity League's governing body, which represents all 19 senior clubs in the league.

The meeting agreed to re-establish the Working Group which initially met last year to formulate plans for the future of League of Ireland football.

The FAI will now be represented on the Working Group for the first time.

In a meeting last October, at which all 20 clubs at the time were represented, Noel Byrne of Shamrock Rovers was elected as President of the National League Executive Committee.

Drogheda United’s Jim McArdle was elected as vice-president.

The SSE Airtricity League clubs continue to be represented on the Working Group by delegates from Bray Wanderers, Cork City, Derry City, Drogheda United, Dundalk, Galway United, Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers.

After the meeting on Thursday Byrne said: "Today’s meeting was hugely positive and progressive.

"The clubs are delighted to get the Working Group up and running again and the addition of FAI representation signifies the Association’s intent to work with the clubs on a brighter future for Irish football.

"We welcome this outcome."

The FAI was represented at Thursday’s meeting by Interim CEO Gary Owens, Competitions Director Fran Gavin and Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn who welcomed the re-establisment of the Working Group.

"Today’s meeting with the NLEC was really productive. There is a lot of optimism now about where the SSE Airtricity League can go and the Association will give this Working Group our full support," said Quinn.

"I talk a lot about the art of the possible and so much is possible now for our game as the Working Group puts together a roadmap for the future that we can present to all 19 League clubs with confidence and excitement.

"All the stakeholders are committed to driving this agenda forward. The clubs have given the Working Group a mandate to investigate all possibilities for our game.

"We look forward to working with the clubs and engaging with UEFA, FIFA, Government, players and sponsors to offer the best future possible for our League and our players.

"These are challenging times for Ireland and for Irish sport with the current COVID-19 lockdown but we will do everything we can to ensure our League is ready to prosper when football returns."

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FAI Gary Owens League Of Ireland NLEC Niall Quinn Noel Byrne SSE Airtricity League

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