FAI raise compensation offers to League of Ireland clubs

The FAI have upped their compensation offers to League of Ireland clubs in a bid to restart the 2020 campaign.
FAI raise compensation offers to League of Ireland clubs
On average, Premier Division clubs would receive just over €191,000 to complete the season.
On average, Premier Division clubs would receive just over €191,000 to complete the season.

The FAI have upped their compensation offers to League of Ireland clubs in a bid to restart the 2020 campaign.

At today’s meeting between representatives of the 19 clubs and the FAI, a breakdown of funding to facilitate a return bumped up the collective pot to clubs from €1.7m to €2.15m.

On average, Premier Division clubs would receive just over €191,000 to complete the season.

It remains to be seen whether the package is sufficient to sway those clubs sceptical about the financial viability of resuming without guaranteed matchday income from behind closed doors fixtures.

First Division clubs, who released a joint statement of support following last week’s meetings, will be paid an average of €68,000.

Overall, the FAI have illustrated how they intend funding the €3.3m cost associated with getting the professional game back up and running after it was halted in mid-March.

The costs, on top of the payout to clubs, are itemised into stadium grants, streaming costs, FAI Cup, marketing of streaming, and referees’ fees.

Uefa solidarity sums of €700,000 and €300,000 from government agency Sport Ireland appear on the opposite of the ledger within the investment category, as does a €2m ‘funding requirement’.

It is understood plans last week to secure buy-in from clubs was stymied by the failure of the FAI board to underwrite that €2m shortfall.

With outgoing Sports Minister Shane Ross last week bullish about football featuring in a ‘recovery fund’ for the sector, and Fifa committed to assisting financially-challenged leagues across the world, confidence about a resumption within six weeks is increasing.

However, it is believed a cohort of clubs won’t immediately commit to the deal, conscious that a further easing of the lockdown measures will smooth the path for games being held at home venues.

The FAI have been working off the basis that neutral ‘clean’ venues would be used but like the mooted four-team pilot tournament, circumstances have altered the outlook.

Also up for discussion is the thorny topic of relegation. Some outfits are steadfastly opposed to the notion of bottom teams losing their top-flight status at the end of what will be a reduced season.

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