AFTER Derry City CEO, Sean Barrett led the charge by refusing the FAI offer of a E5,000 grant for a five year plan, Dublin club, St. Patrick’s Athletic have also joined the fray by backing the ‘Candy Stripes’ stance in a very open and, at times, aggressive reply to the governing body.
In their ‘no punches pulled’ reply they set out a comprehensive review of what’s wrong with the local game and what they consider to be the non-response of the FAI to the problems.
Clearly there is dissatisfaction among many clubs who believe that the engagement with the FAI is necessary but has not been happening.
This should not become a ‘personality’ issue as I agree with St. Pat’s in saying that our game is in crisis but urgently needs the FAI to address the type of issues raised by the Premier Clubs Association in 2015.
It’s not good enough to point at the success of clubs like Dundalk and Cork City as most of the rest of the league struggle to make ends meet on a weekly basis.
There are genuinely concerned football people at every club in the land and some decent administrators who have the good of the game at heart residing at the FAI.
Is it too much to hope that both sides reach out for the good or indeed, survival of professional football in this island?
Doherty shines again at Brandywell
Meanwhile, at Brandywell on Friday night a draw was probably a fair result although there was no doubt that St. Pat’s created the more clear cut chances.
Having said that, Derry, especially in the second half, dominated possession and never stopped playing good football.
After taking the lead with a well worked goal for the second game in a row, we showed that we struggle against genuine pace and duly conceded an equaliser.
After this, Derry clearly had much more of the ball but quick breaks from the Saints continued to signal danger every time they did so.
Recently our own Gerard Doherty has been the form keeper in the league and he proved it again last Friday night and kept us in the game with at least two excellent saves.
Our lack of pace up front is becoming a problem as it makes our play predictable and teams are able to set up against us.
We are still playing good football but don’t have that ‘out ball’ that most other teams in the league have in their locker.
Still, we would have to say we are more than happy with our current league position but the lack of genuine pace needs to be addressed - and quickly.