IF ANY club needed to see proof of the financial reality of Irish domestic football then they need look no further than last week’s announcement of this season’s prize money by the Football Association of Ireland.
The winners of this year’s Premier Division will get E100,000 as opposed to the E200,000 last year’s champions, Shamrock Rovers got and the E280,000 cheque that Bohemians pocketed in 2009.
The ‘cuts’ go all the way as whoever wins the First Division will only get E25,000 while Derry City last year got E50,000.
Despite this and all the other recent disasters the show will still go on, even though Bohemians boss, Pat Fenlon (right) has described the league as a ‘laughing stock’. No harm to Pat but it’s the clubs who have brought football into disrepute not the league.
And Fenlon himself must accept some responsibility having been part and parcel of regimes at both Shelbourne and Bohemians who spent way beyond their means.
On top of that I challenge you to find a football fan anywhere in Ireland who believes Fenlon when he says his budget is around E250,000.
And lets spare a thought for poor old Monaghan who were a penalty kick away from promotion three months ago and were actually promoted and demoted in place of Galway, all in the space of the last seven days.
What all this means is that European money will be the big prize and clubs will do anything whether rational or not to finish in the top four.
Let the race begin . . .
Read more from the Doc every Tuesday in the Derry Journal