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"It's very well stocked with good ideas" | Niall Quinn on All-Island proposal

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

13:34 15 May 2020

Niall Quinn joined OTB AM on Friday morning for a wide-ranging chat including how the future of the League of Ireland and an All-Island league might look.

The interim deputy CEO of the FAI  had a tough start to his role but reckons a swift return to football could be good for everyone's mental wellbeing.

Niall Quinn sees the game in Ireland as being a potential trailblazer for others to follow once restrictions are eased.

The subject of the All-Island league has been bubbling away and Dutch company Hypercube delivered a presentation to clubs lining out several versions of how the competition might look. Derry are among the clubs to support one of the iterations proposed.

Quinn is broadly positive on what he has seen of the All-Island league proposals but is aware it requires cooperation.

"The starting point for the FAI," says the interim deputy CEO, "is we must be in dialogue with our counterparts for this to go anywhere and hope that the IFA see fit to investigate what it all might look like, and even how that conversation starts.

"We're at a very early part of the whole process if you like. I wouldn't be shy in saying it looks outstanding comparing it to where we have been in the past."

Quinn has been impressed by the content of the league concept but feels, more investigation is required.

"It's bold but it's very well stocked with good ideas, good insight," according to the former Sunderland boss, "but the certainty would be about the true financial audit, by that I mean, will the things they say will happen, will they actually happen?"

There's a bit of talking to be done

For his optimism, Niall Quinn accepts the process is at a very early and delicate stage, made even slower by the coronavirus pandemic.

"That's all long after the most important part, which is finding a place with the IFA that they don't object and there's a bit of talking to be done I would say. I would hope those talks at least start.

"We haven't had the format to sit around the table and we won't, we don't want people to get carried away

"We like the spirit of it, we like the work that's gone in as an association and we think it should definitely be discussed.

"I can't say I'm a raging fan as that would lead you too far down the road, it's baby steps, we're very comfortable with it at this point."

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