Midweek Fixtures Don't Work in the LOI

Mon, Oct 24 2016

Empty stands are a common site during midweek games in the League of Ireland Credit: Michael P Ryan


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Anyone who has ever waited for a bus feels like the normal Airtricity League follower recently. Games are coming in twos just like the buses. 


Part-time players are part-time in name only. When you add up training, matches and recovery players must have very little time for family and a life outside of football.


We have waited years for one of our clubs to make an impression in European football and then when one does we make them play two games a week and rush the league finish because it has to be finished by a certain time!!!


If last Monday proved one thing it was Monday night football does not work in Ireland. Looking at the figures of some mid-week games, they would indicate mid-week games don’t work either. I have a memory of getting off school early one Wednesday afternoon many years back to watch St Pat’s play Bohs in a cup replay in front of a big crowd on a pitch the great Philip Greene described as black porridge.  Sadly in 2016 live football is not a priority, people have other commitments with work, hobbies, families and home life, just a few which come to mind.


During the season games got moved to help the clubs competing in Europe, but they have to play them eventually, but just a glance at the attendance figures will show you that mid-week games should be ruled out.  


We all hope more of our teams will follow Dundalk’s lead and will compete in Europe in 2017.  But there is a requirement for the league to adapt the fixture list for the new season to avoid having people travelling long distances to mid-week matches.


I implore for the league and the clubs to sit down over the close season and make a decision that all 2017 league and cup games will be played on Friday and Saturday nights. Then with an agreed fixture list approach the Television companies to include the matches in their television schedule for the year.


Our friends in the GAA can supply the broadcasters with dates of games months in advance, why can we not do the same. We all care for our game in Ireland, a game that drives us to tears and laughter. 


It’s our league! Let’s love it!


Enjoy the off season with your club.