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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2008, 18:06 Thread Starter
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All-Ireland warning

FAI chief executive John Delaney believes there will be an All-Ireland League, but not before 2012.

A contract involving the eircom Legaue and the FAI runs to 2011 and only then could an All-Ireland League be considered, according to Delaney.

"Given time I think this may happen, I'm sure of that," he said.

Plans to start an All-Ireland League in August this year were described as "pie in the sky" by IFA chief executive Howard Wells earlier this month.

Delaney also warns against rushing into setting up any new league.

"It should be done step-by-step, not in a mad rush the way that's been talked about now seems to involve," he told the Irish Independent.

"At the right juncture and if it was supported on both sides of the border and done in a way that wasn't divisive then from a personal point of view I'd like it to happen.

"I've spoken to Howard Wells about it and we'll be meeting again at the end of the month where it will be one of a wide range of issues we'll be discussing.

"It can't happen without us - I think everyone has to accept that.

"Without our support then there's no recognition from Uefa.

"Personally I think it's important that we set up a working group with possibly the two governments involved to see if it would work.

"But any quicker than the end of the current contract over the Eircom League is not going to work in my opinion."

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old January 17th, 2008, 18:45
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Impossible. UEFA has a clear rule that every member nation has to have an own league to keep its national team (this was the key reason why the Welsh FA finally established a national league in 1992). So if you merge the Irish League and League of Ireland, you also have to create an all-Ireland national team like in rugby and cricket. I cannot see that happen really.

It is nice to dream and all, but it is needed to be realistic. I bet none of those advocating an all-Ireland league knows that it would mean to merge the national teams as well. I also bet all those proponents of merging the leagues would change their minds quickly enough if they would know that it involves merging national teams as well.

I am not a proponent nor an opponent, but I don't see it happening really. I lived on both sides of the border, and I don't see any Irish or Northern Irish fan want to give up their national team. There is too much passion and national pride involved to do that. People should focus on the Setanta Cup as a nice cross-border competition and unofficial all-Ireland tournament, but officially merging the leagues is normally not possible without special permissions from UEFA which I don't consider realistic.

Also, there is not much point in the merger anyway. Linfield would be a strong candidate to win the newly formed league, but no other Northern Irish team would come close. An all-Ireland league would basically be the Eircom League + Linfield. Glentoran, Cliftonville etc would be mid-table at most. Only Linfield would compare to the likes of Cork, Drogheda, Derry, St Pats, ...
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2008, 14:44
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Official AIL website -> link.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old March 26th, 2008, 18:17 Thread Starter
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wtf this shouldnt be allowed. Setanta cup is enough in my eyes

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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old March 27th, 2008, 13:10
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Platini refuses to rule out All-Ireland League -> Eleven-a-side.com.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old April 9th, 2008, 15:14
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I am against an all-Ireland league for the simple reason that it would set a precedent. If you make an exception for Ireland, you have to make other exceptions. Next day more countries will be thinking of merging the leagues. So I would say NO, don't allow it and don't make that precedent. As Pumba says, the Setanta Cup is well enough.
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old April 10th, 2008, 01:46
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When you think about it, it has its ups and downs. Since Ireland is two separate nations, they should have two separate leagues. Also it might lead to having one national team, and then combining all different leagues, which no one wants. But if it is purely for the sake of competition and it is just to improve football standards, then it might not be a bad idea. They would probably use the same league system that is used in Bosnia. Both nations have their 7 of their best teams in the premier league. And then each nation has there first divisions with all the other teams, and second divisions etc...And two teams from each first division go's to the Premier division. And the bottom 4 of the Premier get relegated. It definitely would increase league standards, and football would get more competitive, with the best teams from both nations playing. Also there would probably be more teams send to Champions League, Uefa Cup, and Interoto. The only thing that matters is the outcome, what will happen if this occurs. With the national teams and all.

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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old April 10th, 2008, 17:28 Thread Starter
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yea the thing that i dont like there is that they have one united football team, as well as one united country, which currently doesnt exist on the emerald isle and probally never will

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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old April 10th, 2008, 18:48
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As a neutral observer, I'd like to see it, even if it means an All-Ireland NT. After all, you already have an AI team in rugby.

I'm keeping an eye on the whole situation, as there have been previous merger attempts such as the Alpine League (Switzerland + Austria) and the Beneliga (Belgium + Netherlands), but nothing came of it.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old April 10th, 2008, 20:01 Thread Starter
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rugby is different, if it was on its own in northern ireland it would struggle to support itself

Also the rugby team currently has caused part of the population to not be represented by it, myself included. another reason why i am completly against the idea.

Its like saying there is already a a team GB for cycling, so why not football?? totally different sports with totally different circumstances so dont even try to compare them

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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old April 11th, 2008, 09:19
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Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
As a neutral observer, I'd like to see it, even if it means an All-Ireland NT. After all, you already have an AI team in rugby.

I'm keeping an eye on the whole situation, as there have been previous merger attempts such as the Alpine League (Switzerland + Austria) and the Beneliga (Belgium + Netherlands), but nothing came of it.
Exactly why I am against the idea. If Ireland gets permission to merge its leagues, then the UEFA sets a precedent and other neighbouring countries will come up with such proposals. I don't see the point in a Belgium-Netherlands league or an all-Scandinavian league for example, so to avoid such proposals from happening I rather don't see a precedent. So please do keep the Setanta Cup as cross-border tournament but keep the leagues of Ireland and N.Ireland separated.



PS I: comparing with Bosnia-Herzegowina is not really relevant. Bosnia-Herzegowina is one country politically, even if it is made up out of several self-governing parts. Ireland and Northern Ireland are not the same country, it is a different situation than Bosnia and Herzegowina who may be different entities but form 1 country together.

PS II: the reason why rugby has an all-Ireland team is that rugby attracts a crowd which can be labelled as "less working class" than football. Or in other words: a more exclusive crowd. Look for examples at schools: the more classy schools were the richer class sends its children to play rugby, the more working class orientated schools play football. In working class environments the Northern Irish divide is usually more an issue than in those rich neighbourhoods where people noticed not that much of the Troubles. To the people in the poorer working class areas (and those are usually football fans and not rugby fans) the political problems were much stronger present in their daily lives. So to a football fan it would emotionally be more difficult to see Ireland and Northern Ireland unite, while for rugby fans (without saying they don't care at all about politics) it is less of an issue.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old April 11th, 2008, 09:41
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Originally Posted by Crackedpleasures View Post
Impossible. UEFA has a clear rule that every member nation has to have an own league to keep its national team (this was the key reason why the Welsh FA finally established a national league in 1992). So if you merge the Irish League and League of Ireland, you also have to create an all-Ireland national team like in rugby and cricket. I cannot see that happen really.
Not true.

Liechtenstein teams play in the Swiss leagues as there is no Liechtenstein league. Still, there is a Liechtenstein national football team.

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PS II: the reason why rugby has an all-Ireland team is that rugby attracts a crowd which can be labelled as "less working class" than football. Or in other words: a more exclusive crowd. Look for examples at schools: the more classy schools were the richer class sends its children to play rugby, the more working class orientated schools play football. In working class environments the Northern Irish divide is usually more an issue than in those rich neighbourhoods where people noticed not that much of the Troubles. To the people in the poorer working class areas (and those are usually football fans and not rugby fans) the political problems were much stronger present in their daily lives. So to a football fan it would emotionally be more difficult to see Ireland and Northern Ireland unite, while for rugby fans (without saying they don't care at all about politics) it is less of an issue.
Thanks for sharing that.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old April 11th, 2008, 15:16
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Not true.

Liechtenstein teams play in the Swiss leagues as there is no Liechtenstein league. Still, there is a Liechtenstein national football team.
Yes but they are the ONLY exception. UEFA also stated they will not tolerate exceptions for other teams. If you want your own national team, you have to have your own league. Liechtenstein is the only exception and UEFA made it clear they won't accept any other exceptions.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old April 11th, 2008, 16:31 Thread Starter
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Liechtenstein still have the Liechtensteiner cup which Vaduz must play in to play in and win to play european competiions

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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old April 15th, 2008, 10:59
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Yes but they are the ONLY exception. UEFA also stated they will not tolerate exceptions for other teams. If you want your own national team, you have to have your own league. Liechtenstein is the only exception and UEFA made it clear they won't accept any other exceptions.
Could you please provide a source for this?
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old April 16th, 2008, 00:53
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I read that numerous times, but I am not sure where. I mean, some of those articles explaining the Liechtenstein case (and clearly stating they are the only country that got a UEFA exception) I read a year ago. So difficult to remember exactly where.

By the way, the League of Wales was formed purely on the ground that every national team had to be tied to a national league. If the FAW didn't form a domestic league for Wales, Wales would have lost its own national team. This was the direct reason for the local FA to set up a nationwide Welsh league.
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old April 16th, 2008, 06:39
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I read that numerous times, but I am not sure where. I mean, some of those articles explaining the Liechtenstein case (and clearly stating they are the only country that got a UEFA exception) I read a year ago. So difficult to remember exactly where.

By the way, the League of Wales was formed purely on the ground that every national team had to be tied to a national league. If the FAW didn't form a domestic league for Wales, Wales would have lost its own national team. This was the direct reason for the local FA to set up a nationwide Welsh league.
I found this on the Wales Premier official website:

"The Welsh Premier League was born out of political necessity in 1992. Welsh football had lost a (British) championship and not yet found a role. This situation was being exploited in FIFA circles by African and Asian nations who resented the independent status of the four British associations, and who saw the participation of the senior Welsh clubs in English football as a contradiction of that status. The problems set by local geography and the economy, together with the presence of its powerful English neighbour, had prevented Wales forming its own national championship until the F.A. of Wales took the initiative twelve years ago and founded the League of Wales."

Still, I would like to see an official FIFA/UEFA statement regarding this issue.
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old April 25th, 2008, 16:29
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May be difficult to find as the UEFA/FIFA obligation that forced the FAW to form the Welsh league, dates from the early nineties when internet was in its earliest stages. So I doubt that it's possible to find the exact UEFA statement from 16 years ago which forced Wales and other member states (bar Liechtenstein) to form an own league in order to keep their own national team.
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2008, 21:37
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Man I´d love to see an all Ireland league sooner rather than later. It´s gonna happen eventually as we are moving towards a united nation, so if not by 2020 I think this will def happen by 2030.

Any thoughts?

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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old May 14th, 2008, 22:02 Thread Starter
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too politically based so **** off

end football Apartheid in Ireland!!
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