Belfast Telegraph

Foyle Cup chief calls for bigger share of local council funding

 

By Graham Luney

Foyle Cup organisers have called on Derry and Strabane District Council to show more respect to the tournament by providing more funding.

Those involved in organising the youth tournament feel it is being denied the support given to other events in the city such as the Clipper Festival, Halloween Festival and Jazz Festival.

While the Foyle Cup has netted a £23,000 cash injection, bigger projects in the region have benefited from more than £250,000 in funding from the Council.

This year's tournament, which kicks off on July 17, will involve more than 340 visiting teams and hotels and businesses in the area will enjoy a share of the estimated £2m boost to the local economy.

Michael Hutton, chairman of Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup, said: "Hotels are reporting to me more than ever over the past few years and especially this year, that the major clubs in Britain are booking scouts into hotels.

"Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Sunderland, Norwich City, Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers, Celtic, Hearts, Rangers, and many others will each have several scouts in the city, very much focusing on what Irish talent is available.

"More and more clubs are looking at the success of Irish players with Premier League clubs and are determined to find future stars - thereby saving themselves millions of pounds that their clubs cannot afford.

"Whilst this event continues to grow annually, unfortunately the funding from Derry and Strabane District Council has not grown at all since 2006 when we had only 92 teams.

"We received £23,000 in cash funding then and we are still receiving that same level of funding whilst council's own events' funding continues to grow with several receiving over £250,000 funding annually, and it is questionable if they are as successful as our event in delivering for the city and region."

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