Waterford lose place in Europa League after being denied licence
St Pat’s now expected to take their place after finishing one spot below Blues last year
Waterford FC will not be allowed to compete in the Europa League this season. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Waterford look set to be replaced in the Europa League qualifying rounds after the FAI announced on Thursday night that the Airtricity League club will not be granted a licence from Uefa to play in the competition. St Patrick’s Athletic, who finished one place behind Waterford last season, are in line to replace them.
If that is confirmed then the Dublin club will be set to earn around €250,000 from the competition.
Waterford had requested a special dispensation from Uefa as technically the club has been in existence for less than three years. This has been rejected with the FAI releasing a statement confirming Uefa’s decision. It read: “Waterford FC’s exception request has been rejected on the non-fulfilment of the three-year rule as defined in the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations.
“UEFA has informed the FAI that, following the Club Financial Control Body-Investigatory Chamber decision in this case, Waterford FC may not apply for a UEFA licence for the UEFA Club Competitions for the season 2019/20.”
Earlier in the week the FAI confirmed that they had been contacted by St Pat’s who contested that they should be the recipient of the European place on the basis that Waterford did not meet the requirements.
In the letter, the club’s owner and executive chairman, Garrett Kelleher says that St Patrick’s Athletic have taken advice from the European Club Association on the matter. The letter stated that the company that runs Waterford, Power Grade Limited, was only incorporated on December 14th, 2016 and therefore the club did not meet the three-year Uefa rule.
St Pat’s also claimed that the former entity of Waterford United still owes money to various parties in football.
One of those is understood to be to former manager Roddy Collins who was awarded €13,000 in an unfair dismissals case last year at the Workplace Relations Commission. Collins had claimed that he was sacked towards the end of the 2016 season, at which point he had a year left on his contract.
At the time, Collins said he was being paid €800 per week during the season and €300 a week outside of it.
Waterford had said in a statement released to The Irish Times that they were not aware of any breaches of the licensing requirements. However, the FAI have now confirmed that Waterford will not receive a licence.