Niall Quinn has said it’s hoped that a combination of paid-for streaming of games and financial support from FIFA could help the League of Ireland cope with the crippling financial impact of the Covid-19 lockdown.
“We have gone a long way down the line looking at a streaming option where all games can be accessed via a digital paywall,” the FAI’s Interim Deputy CEO told Newstalk. "That's technically in a really good position so that can happen if that's where we believe the clubs can go.
"There's also now a possibility of a contribution from FIFA. I think UEFA have also been very good to us and the government have been very good to us, so we wouldn't refuse anything, but I think the announcement from FIFA that they were willing to contribute to associations hit hard during the current pandemic helps.
"And we're looking at that as well. And looking at trying to put together potential streaming revenue and say to clubs, 'this is what it all adds up to, and it's up to you now where you want to go.' It's trying to inform the clubs of everything that's out there. We'll get to the bottom of it all pretty soon.”
Quinn said that by May 5 – when there is potential for an easing of current lockdown restrictions – the FAI hope to be able to give clubs a detailed breakdown of the financial implications.
“We want to be ready for that so that if there's an announcement on May 5 we have performed diligently at informing the clubs on whether they should come back or not.
"And we would hope by May 5 to put numbers in place as to what revenues would look like from online streaming and also what contributions could be made from FIFA."
Meanwhile, some of Ireland’s biggest football fans will get the chance to quiz Quinn and new Ireland manager Stephen Kenny in an exclusive online show hosted by Down Syndrome Ireland and the FAI on Friday afternoon when Kenny and former international striker Quinn will take questions from DSI members all across Ireland.
Down Syndrome Ireland’s vital fundraising income has been severely impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis with all annual campaigns and activities postponed. Donations can be made at downsyndrome.ie.
To watch the FAI/Down Syndrome Ireland event from 1.30pm on Friday, visit facebook.com/faireland.