All-Island League

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Re: All-Island League

Post by El Paso » Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:43 pm

What’s potentially in this for football on the island of Ireland as a whole (and Lucid), and what the IFA and certain Northern clubs see as being in it for them personally seem to be two different different things.

Personally I think it would be amazing for us as a club, if (big if) we got past the security stuff. Sam Prole always lead the reconciliation efforts in part because he knew it was good for the club. Glentoran, Linfield, Cliftonville are far more attractive opponents than flaky clubs in hurling strongholds like Waterford, Limerick and Galway.

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Re: All-Island League

Post by oldfogey » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:08 pm

Just listened to Caoimhin Reilly on RTE Sunday Sport.

Sounds to me that - for whatever reason - he is dead set against an all island league. RTE intro'd with a Philip Green clip from 1979.

Made the security arrangements fro Friday and tomorrow night sound like entering a war zone.

Omitted to mention that there there was a period when bus companies wouldn't travel to Derry and there are supporters who will give Tallaght
a miss as the local gardai are not interested in protecting visiting fans.

Of course it could also be that RTE don't want it either as they have a cosy relationship with the FAI.

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Re: All-Island League

Post by Pepsi » Sun Nov 10, 2019 6:51 pm

Its all about the FAI / RTE relationship.....

RTE know exactly that if they support an All Island League that they will have to risk facing a bidding war for international games. If the AIL was lets say a success and Virgin paid for the rights it might just lead to the brains in the FAI trying a little harder to sell the national teams games etc.

RTE is just like the FAI.....all mates in it for the money and no accountablity.

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Re: All-Island League

Post by El Paso » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:51 pm

An all island league would be independent of the two associations by definition. So the rights would have to be separate to the international team’s rights, unlike now where they’re rolled up together. That would suit RTE perfectly - they would love it if they didn’t have the cost of showing an AIL. RyleTE once offered the FAI compo to NOT have to show any LOI.

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Re: All-Island League

Post by Ezeikial » Sat Apr 25, 2020 1:07 am

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Re: All-Island League

Post by Sneachta » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:28 am

A bit convoluted. I'm gathering that European spots will be decided between the top teams from North and South when they join in the golden round?

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Re: All-Island League

Post by niall_hearty2000 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 2:49 pm

That's far too complicated imho. Either have an AIL or a cup comp but not this idea. Makes your eyes bleed reading it.
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Re: All-Island League

Post by Ezeikial » Sun Apr 26, 2020 6:30 pm

No doubt that it is complicated, but the real issue is whether or not it might work
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Re: All-Island League

Post by oldfogey » Mon Apr 27, 2020 9:40 am

1. We would have a 12 team Premier Division. 2 rounds = 22 games.

Top 8 go to the AIL (Golden Round) along with 6 from Irish League. Bottom 4 plus bottom 6 from the North plus top 2 in FD go to Silver Round.

**Golden Round: 14 teams play each other once. Results from games against other LOI teams added to 22 game table. So "our season" is 29 games and decides Champions League plus 2 Europa League spots.**

EDIT**: 14 teams play each other once, ALL results added to respective 22 game tables.
There is also a Golden Round table with just the 13 games.(End of EDIT**)

Total games 35 to this point. Same north of the border. (I'm assuming the FAI Cup still takes place separately)

The top 4 in the Golden Round go into Quarter Finals for All Island League. Next 6 teams in Golden Round plus top 2 in Silver Round play off for the other 4 Quarter Final spots.

IF these are two legged ties, a team getting to the final will play either 41 or 43 games depending on the route. Although nothing has been announced, the indication was that League Champions will get 3 chances in Europe - Champions League, Europa League, and Europa Conference(?). That's a minimum of 6 games, 8 if you win a round, and 14 if you win 2 rounds and get to the Group Stages.

Add in a run to the cup final (5) and you are looking at 60 "Class 1" games in a season for a club like ourselves who would aspire to that level of success (no disrespect to the LSC or EA SC). Even in a 10 month season that's a lot of playing twice a week.

This edit was done following a review of the presentation at allislandleague.com. I'm not attempting to justify my original interpretation, but I'm not sure how I feel about cross border games affecting the LOI title race. Rovers might play Linfield in R1 in Tallaght and we might end up in Windsor Park on the last day needing a win.

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Re: All-Island League

Post by Ezeikial » Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:28 pm

Interesting League of Ireland and All-Island League proposals are tabled, writes Gerry Malone



As the strong controls to fight the coronavirus continues, sports supporters are wondering if there will be anything played before the end of this year.

The government announced last week that no sporting event will be allowed to accommodate an attendance of more than 5,000 people. This ban stands until the end of August and has automatically put a stop to hopes of many of the big events.

But the number of 5,000, when examined, really means that even if some events do get the go ahead to resume the attendance figure permitted will be down to the hundreds.

Right now the resumption of the League of Ireland has brought up five suggestions.

- A resumption for the SSE Airtricity League behind closed doors on June 19 with the season to end no later than the end of December; a ‘behind closed doors’ policy to operate as long as HSE Guidelines recommend.

- A resumption as planned on June 19 with stadium restrictions in line with HSE Guidelines including ‘behind closed doors’ and reduced capacity at 25 or 50 percent; the season to run until the end of December.

- A resumption in July or August, based on Government advice and HSE guidelines.

- A deferral of all National League activity until September with a reduced fixture programme season to run until the end of December.

- A resumption of National League football in September with a full fixture programme season to run until the end of February 2021.

The clubs are hoping that the season can resume by mid-June. However, as the weeks go by, I find it very difficult to see how this can happen. Even if games are played behind closed doors there is a chance of the virus spreading and this applies to all contact sports.

Who knows what player may have the virus? They may be carrying it without any symptoms. If that player coughs or his/her sweat lands on an opposing player then there is a chance of the infection spreading. And, obviously, there are many other ways the virus can spread.

Thus, I find it hard to see how any sport can be resumed for the foreseeable future. The HSE may come up with different suggestions that allow games to be played by June or July. But, until an antidote can be found to eliminate the virus, it seems inevitable there will be more interruptions to sporting events, even if they do resume in the not-too-distant future.

St. Patrick’s Athletic are the latest Premier Division outfit to introduce cuts while the season sits on hold. All players and management staff have been laid off temporarily.

Dundalk are the only club not to introduce pay cuts or lay offs. The club’s wage bill is among the highest in the league and so you do have to ask yourself how long it can sustain a position of no reduction measures with the campaign on hold.

Another big development in Irish soccer came at the weekend with a final proposal on a move to an All-Island League. There will still be champions and European places available for both domestic leagues; thus, the FAI and IFA will maintain their independence over their own divisions.

There will be 12-team Premier Divisions both north and south and after two rounds, consisting of 22 games, the leagues will split. At this point the top eight clubs in the League of Ireland top-flight and the top six from the Irish League will form a 14-team group.

The points accrued by all clubs from their own leagues will be brought or included in the All-Island League. There will be 14 teams playing each other once resulting in an extra 13 games.

The interesting element here is that points won, or lost, in the All-Island League are added as part of the Irish League and League of Ireland. Thus, should Dundalk beat Linfield they can add three points to their League of Ireland points tally. This 14-team tier will effectively decide who wins both the League of Ireland and Irish League titles respectively.

Champions League places, as per the present structure, would go to the top League of Ireland and Irish League clubs. The number of European places currently available to teams in both jurisdictions would also remain, while a new competition, named the King of the Island, will be played following the All-Island League’s conclusion.

The top four will be joined in a quarter-final, following a play-off between the next six teams down and two other sides from the silver round performers - lower down domestic outfits still competing among themselves. A knockout competition, the winner will be declared the King of the Island.

The next step is for both the clubs and FAI/IFA to sanction the proposal, which would see the formation of a another body, despite both organisations remaining as separate entities.

It will be difficult to get the idea through as the IFA have already come out against an All-Island League. For it to go ahead the FAI and the IFA must sanction it. I do not see the FAI having a problem with it but I feel the IFA may hit it on the head.

However, the Irish League is in a poor enough condition with attendances and the quality of football poor. This new concept is what the Irish League needs to get a shot in the arm.

The All-Island League proposal also includes games for lower league teams, but that’s for another day.

Finally, I notice my next door neighbour, Stephen Kenny, has taken to the roads around Blackrock. He is out most days on early morning runs around the area, kitted out in his Republic of Ireland gear.
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Re: All-Island League

Post by seand » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:52 pm

This proposal doesn't make any sense to me. Looks like we play a 2-series league, only 22 games to decide the LoI champions and the Euro places. Then another 13-20 games in some post-season all-Ireland league with no Euro football at stake? So there'd need to be massive prize money involved to keep everyone interested. And LoI or IL would have to switch seasons. And it's utterly mental that you can win a 22-game league to qualify for a 14-team league, win that league as well and then lose out in the quarter-finals.

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Re: All-Island League

Post by Ezeikial » Tue May 19, 2020 3:28 pm

‘Radical’ new structure is what Irish game needs, says Lucid
New template for All Island League has been approved by majority of clubs

Almost three years after setting out to establish an All Island League, Kieran Lucid admits that the latest version of his plan might be described as a complicated compromise, but he remains convinced that the structure approved by a majority of clubs in recent weeks still has the potential to transform the club game across Ireland.

Based on projections put together by Dutch sports consultants Hypercube, Lucid claims that the adoption of a split season league – that would start out with clubs playing in their respective competitions north and south before progressing to a crossborder phase – has the potential to grow total revenues at the top 20 or clubs almost five fold over the next decade to almost €100 million per annum.

Even that, he acknowledges, is not what he had originally been targeting, but he observes: “It’s a not insignificant jump.”

The projections, which are based on the fourth of six scenarios put to clubs after an island-wide consultation process, assume small but significant ground improvements combined with a competition format that supporters might describe as “innovative”. Traditionalists, he accepts, might characterise it somewhat less favourably.

King of the Island
The basic plan, which has been devised in order to address the concerns raised in relation to the original All Island League proposal, involves clubs playing two rounds of games in their own leagues before a split, based on league placings, after which teams would face sides from all across Ireland in a final round of matches. Points at this stage would count towards two separate tables, one relating to the domestic league, which would continue to decide the allocation of European club competition spots, and another which would be a stepping stone towards and end of season knockout competition, provisionally titled the “King of the Island”.

“The game needs something radical,” says the Dublin-based tech millionaire. “And option four is radical. Okay, it’s complicated but many leagues in Europe are complicated; a lot of other existing competitions are complicated.

Q&A: What are the details of the revised All Island League plan?
“If you look at the Champions League, there’s a backdoor into the Europa League but fans get all that stuff pretty quickly. Being complicated shouldn’t be a criticism in and of itself. It should just prompt the question: can this make the game better?”

He cites the example of the Belgian league which was restructured, amid a good deal of controversy, in 2009 so as to include a mid-season spilt and more playoffs. In the decade since, it has climbed from 14th to 8th in the European rankings, overtaking the likes of the Dutch Eredivisie along the way.

During the same time, both Irish leagues have slipped down the Uefa compiled ranking list: from 30th to 37th (Airtricity League) and 47th to 52nd (NIFL) at the end of last season and so, he insists, “I think scenario four has the chance to give the game a real boost.”

Hypercube’s modelling suggests that by adopting the plan revenues could be grown from around €21 million at 22 clubs now to €99.5 million at 24 in 10 years’ time with a substantial portion of the additional revenue coming from more regular group stage participation in European competition, primarily the soon to be established Conference League.

“The good news about the Conference League is that for qualifying you get the same money as you did hitherto for the Europa League. You don’t get the same money for each point you get after that but it means that at least one of our teams, hopefully more, should be in the group stages pretty much every year and that means that we are plugged into the European transfer market.

Transfer activity
“If you look at some of the Dutch clubs, if it wasn’t for their transfer activity, they’d be losing money. It’s the transfer activity that makes all the difference and their financial stability means they can lock the players in (to longer contracts) and then English clubs and ones from other big leagues respect them enough to pay substantial transfer fees instead of raiding them for free. That’s what it looks like. Facilities, European competition and transfer fees. And bigger crowds would come with that.

“It would be a healthy small European league,” he suggests. “We would be able to keep our best young players here longer and we would have a good run in Europe every now and again.”

Lucid accepts that the plan still has a long way to go if it is to become a reality but the FAI, he says, has been supportive while the IFA has kept the door open after rejecting the original All Island idea. It has been reported that the two associations have established a working party to more fully explore idea.

His hope is that Uefa will ultimately be asked to give their blessing, something he believes they would give.

*The proposed format and other detail is available at allislandleague.com

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/soccer ... -1.4256459
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Re: All-Island League

Post by Sneachta » Tue May 19, 2020 7:00 pm

You got to give him credit, he's keen.

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