FAI, Barcelona and Limerick: From the Confusing to the Bizarre – O’Mahony

May 19, 2010  

6 main outstanding issues FAI need to address immediately

The FAI’s statements over Limerick FC’s prospective friendly with Barcelona have resulted in far more questions being asked than answered according to Fine Gael Sport Spokesman, John O’Mahony TD.

Deputy O’Mahony said that the current situation serves nobodies interests and has called on the association to immediately clarify six issues that have arisen over the last 36 hours.

“This has gone from confusing to plain bizarre.

“Clarity has never been needed more but, unfortunately, over the last day and a half, the FAI’s statements have resulted in nothing but uncertainty. In particular, six issues need to be clarified immediately.

1. Despite stating that all friendlies have to be organised through this third-party agent, the Manchester United game at the Aviva was organised directly by the organisation and not the agent. If the association is supposedly tied to the agent, how was this possible?

2. There is a seeming contradiction in the FAI granting permission to clubs to hold friendlies and its statement that all friendlies have to be arranged through the third-party agent as the benefit would accrue to all in the organisation, not just the club holding the friendly. In the last few years clubs such as Liverpool and Real Madrid have played here with the benefit solely accruing to the club playing them.

3. The FAI admitted that clubs have not previously been informed that there are restrictions with regard to the organisation of friendlies due to the FAI’s contrad on the association to immediately clarify six issues that have arisen over the last 36 hours.

“This has gone from confusing to plain bizarre.

“Clarity has never been needed more but, unfortunately, over the last day and a half, the FAI’s statements have resulted in nothing but uncertainty. In particular, six issues need to be clarified immediately.

1. Despite stating that all friendlies have to be organised through this third-party agent, the Manchester United game at the Aviva was organised directly by the organisation and not the agent. If the association is supposedly tied to the agent, how was this possible?

2. There is a seeming contradiction in the FAI granting permission to clubs to hold friendlies and its statement that all friendlies have to be arranged through the third-party agent as the benefit would accrue to all in the organisation, not just the club holding the friendly. In the last few years clubs such as Liverpool and Real Madrid have played here with the benefit solely accruing to the club playing them.

3. The FAI admitted that clubs have not previously been informed that there are restrictions with regard to the organisation of friendlies due to the FAI’s contract with a third-part agent. It was certain that clubs would attempt to organise money-spinning friendlies with foreign big-name clubs so why was this important clause never communicated to them?

4. Originally the FAI stated that any friendly that would attract a crowd of 20,000 or more is subject to the agreement with the third-party agent. Within hours, this was reduced to 15,000. Why? And why such a round number? What if a friendly was held in a stadium with a capacity of 14,500 or 19,500?

5. The FAI stated that it is in negotiation with Barcelona. Is this game for this summer? Barcelona had al