Belfast Telegraph

All-Island group back financial figures

Kieran Lucid
Kieran Lucid

By Steven Beacom

Kieran Lucid's All-Island League group have declared that their financial projections for a new cross-border league "are based on sincere and promising discussions with broadcasters, sponsors and other stakeholders" in response to the Irish FA saying the figures in the proposals were "highly speculative and lack specificity or guarantees".

Last week, the IFA said they would not sanction any member clubs to take part in an All-Island League. That was a crushing blow to Lucid's team, though the Kerry businessman is refusing to give up on his vision.

In a statement released last night by the All-Island League Advocacy group containing Lucid, ex-FA bigwig Alex Horne and former Republic of Ireland boss Brian Kerr, it said that Dutch sports consultancy Hypercube would initiate a data and opinion gathering process with all involved in football across the island "in order to come up with a structure that works for all".

A Cup competition with clubs from both the North and South has been suggested as one possibility.

On the money aspect, the statement added: "Our financial projections are based on sincere and promising discussions with broadcasters, sponsors and other stakeholders, but of course nothing is certain until a format is agreed and a deal is signed subject to FA approvals, removing the need for a leap of faith on the part of the clubs or FAs.

"Growing the football economy through regular cross-border competition gives clubs both large and small a better chance of keeping their brightest stars at home for longer, helping our clubs qualify regularly for European group stage competition and strengthen the player pool for the two national teams.

"The reaction of the clubs to the Dundalk meeting was positive, and the consensus was that clubs wish to hear more.

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"Accordingly, we plan to continue with the roadmap we have outlined, namely in respect of our engagement with Hypercube and the relevant football stakeholders."

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