When you look at the League of Ireland, it appears to be full of teams from the Dublin region and areas just outside the capital. Both divisions currently have 6 clubs (both Shamrock Rovers and Shamrock Rovers II count as one) from the Greater Dublin Area. Yes Dublin is our capital and naturally it’ll always have more teams than any other county. But surely if just under half the teams in our league are from the Dublin region and it’s surrounding areas, this should be of a concern to people.
As another journalist touched on in another article, county’s like Kerry and Mayo are crying out for a team with their huge populations. It would be great to see it spread out a bit more.
There’s no doubting the Dublin clubs particularly Bohs and Rovers have huge fan bases and are two clubs who are a massive part of the league. But if you look at a newly formed team like Cabinteely who had on average just 370 people through their gate last season. Was it really necessary to add another side in South Dublin like Cabinteely? Look I have nothing against the club and know that they’re doing great things. However, it’s not really fair when there’s plenty of other county’s who’d appreciate a SSE Airtricity League license than a team who’s home ground is just 20 minutes away from Tallaght Stadium.
I know people who live in the likes of Tipperary, who constantly give out about not having a team to support. They do their best to try and get to the odd game or so. But it ain’t easy when they could be undertaking a journey that’s over an hour away.
Even big clubs in the Munster region seem to be struggling of late. The likes of Cork having to sell their sell-on fees for Alan Browne and Seani Maguire. Also, Waterford FC owner Lee Power has suffered big time financially due to last seasons expulsion from European football. The Dublin clubs seem to be the most the thriving in the country and look that probably will always be the reality. But it would be great to see more clubs being formed outside of the Pale. Plenty of teams have underage academy’s like Kerry and Carlow/Kilkenny. If we could make them into first teams aswell it would be of massive benefit to the entire country.
Some might not see it as that big an issue. But I feel it’s certainly something that should be looked into by the new FAI that’s in place.