Niall Quinn to outline Airtricity League funding proposals this month

Former Ireland striker has had two meetings with FAI Competitions Director Fran Gavin

Niall Quinn expects to formally outline his proposals for attracting new funding for Airtricity League clubs to the FAI before the end of the month with the former Republc of Ireland striker still convinced that the mix of people he has assembled has the potential to make a major impact on the game here.

Having initially suggested that he preferred to further progress things before sitting down with the association, Quinn has now had two meetings with Competitions Director Fran Gavin which, he says, have been extremely positive.

His hope is that when the organisation sees the detail of what is envisaged set out in a plan, they will be happy to go out and put the proposals before the league’s 20 clubs.

“I would imagine that in a couple of weeks we will have written to the FAI, that we will have sent something to them about what we regard to be possible,” said Quinn on Friday at an event to promote Virgin’s coverage of next week’s Champions League games.


“We had a second meeting with Fran that went very well. Now it’s up to us to package our possibilities and if they are of value to them then we will be very happy for them to go to the clubs with them; we can’t go directly to them, they have enough going on.

“We do want to demystify it for the clubs, though. I understand that for most people this all still looks like a bit of mystery. But we are not demanding anything here, we don’t want to bring the clubs anywhere that they do not want to go; we are just trying to talk about the art of the possible: ‘This is what the situation is here, we think we could help with that. This is the position there; we think we could help with that’.

“We want to make it clear that we don’t want to rain on their party, we just have some good people who might be able to make things better and we would like to put in place an ecosystem that the government would support. The idea would be to have good community buy in at every club and good systems in place.”

There is a clear sense from the 52 year-old that things have evolved slightly since he first raised the notion of working to do something for the league.

“Yeah, well, when you start, you are saying this all has to change,” he acknowledges, “but then you ask yourself what is the best way of going forward and you start to listen to people who have been there and done it before. Then you sort of sit back and think, ‘do you know what? I know nothing about this.

“But there are good people involved. And we feel that if it what we are proposing is presented in the right way, the FAI will be happy to bring it to the clubs. The people involved just want to know that it is something of interest. If it is they are happy to put the work into it.”

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone

Emmet Malone is Work Correspondent at The Irish Times