Derry City encourage rivals 'to join in supporting the possibilities that an All-Island League would release'

Thu, May 14 2020

Premier Division Derry City have encouraged their rivals to support the proposals brought forward by the All-Island League venture.

In a statement released on Thursday afternoon, the Candystripes said that ‘this is a seminal moment in the well-being and even existence of professional football on this island’.

The club have also said that they are ‘impressed’ with the model proposed that brings together the two leagues to maintain their present structures.

“The pandemic has exposed the underlying fragility of the present model. In pure business terms it is not viable,’ the statement adds.

“There is not enough income being generated to sustain the business. Great efforts are made to keep clubs in existence, but those efforts can only be limited as they lack the finances to grow the business.

“A few clubs are blessed by generous benefactors who enable them to achieve some stability and success but are hindered by the lack of buoyancy and competitiveness of the other clubs.

The historical relationships between the two leagues and their governing bodies, the IFA in Northern Ireland and the FAI in the south, have not been as constructive and creative as most clubs might have wished.

“We understand the natural tensions that often exist between governing bodies and clubs but it is time to acknowledge the tenuous state of both Leagues and to recognise that neither the FAI or the IFA have had the local leagues at the top of their ambitions.”

The statement finished with the lines: “Derry City, whose history provides it with a unique relationship with both leagues and all the clubs on this island, wishes to affirm and support the sense and the urgency of the findings contained in the report.

“We would encourage other clubs to acknowledge the fragility of the present arrangements and to join in supporting the possibilities that an All-Island League would release.”