Belfast Telegraph

Irish League would benefit from summer switch: Fenlon


Linfield general manager Pat Fenlon
Linfield general manager Pat Fenlon

By Graham Luney

Linfield general manager Pat Fenlon believes Irish League clubs will reap the financial benefits of success in European competition if they switch the season to incorporate summer football.

The Irish League is in danger of losing one of its four European places as Northern Ireland has fallen to 52nd position out of 55 nations in the Uefa Co-efficient list.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill has encouraged clubs to consider a calendar switch and it appears there is some support for a campaign from May to February.

The Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) will supply clubs with a consultation document, explaining the different ways forward and Fenlon, who began his managerial career with Shelbourne in 2002, said: "Change can be tough but it's important we have conversations about making the league better.

"I think when you go back to the Uefa co-efficient it's obviously something that needs to be addressed.

"The southern teams have done better in Europe through the change of season and going full-time.

"I don't think a change of season alone is the answer but we have to look at the European qualification picture as we don't want to lose a European place."

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