Waterford owner Lee Power has confirmed that the club has lodged an appeal with Uefa over their disqualification from European competition for the 2019/2020 season.
Power released a well thought out and hard hitting statement earlier today in which he said that the club feels as if they have been “misled” by the Football Association of Ireland.
With the FAI still trying to dig itself out of the turmoil that has engulfed the organisation for over a month now, this is the last thing they will have wanted to greet them as they head into Easter weekend.
The news first emerged that trouble could be on the horizon for the Blues when the FAI surprisingly confirmed they were in receipt of a letter from St Patrick’s Athletic in which the Dublin based side questioned the legality of allowing their Premier Division colleagues to compete in the competition.
Following this a further statement from the country’s governing body confirmed that Uefa had informed the relevant parties that they would not be allowing Waterford to take part in this coming seasons European competitions.
Waterford owner Power is particularly upset by the manner in which the last number of months have unfolded with the businessman saying that he will be asking “for a full investigation into the FAI handling of this matter.”
“I have instructed my UK Lawyers to lodge an immediate appeal with UEFA and will pursue any legal avenue we have with regards to compensation and/or any wrong doing against a number of parties,” Power continued.
Waterford, who currently occupy sixth place, take on seventh place in Cork this evening in a vital game for both teams.
Statement in full below.
Everyone at Waterford FC are deeply shocked and saddened at the news that we have been expelled from playing in the Europa League this season. We feel we have been totally misled by the FAI and were given assurances throughout this five-month process by them that the licence would be granted. We also had club visits by UEFA Delegates during this period of which no issues were raised.
As a club, we entered into substantial commercial agreements and invested heavily again into the team and also budgeted for the qualification money due in November. This will now have a serious financial impact on the club going forward.
The circumstances to which this decision has been made and the events over the last week are unclear and dubious, bearing in mind representations made to us and assurances given.
We will be asking for a full investigation into the FAI handling of this matter.
I have instructed my UK Lawyers to lodge an immediate appeal with UEFA and will pursue any legal avenue we have with regards to compensation and/or any wrong doing against a number of parties.
Finally, I must mention the people who matter the most – The Supporters - who have supported this club through thick and thin and have been badly let down by the people in Ireland governing this process.