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Soccer

Micheál Martin: I want more funding for the League of Ireland

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

21:50 4 May 2021


Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that he wants to see more funding for the League of Ireland.

Martin referenced his proximity to Cork City as a younger man when talking of the need for more monies for a national league that has never appeared more precarious.

League of Ireland funding needed - Martin

"We can do both," Martin said, when posed that it was an either-or situation with League of Ireland funding or a Rugby World Cup here.

"I would have been involved in Turner's Cross soccer pitch long before we any of this, where we built up Turner's Cross as a playing facility.

"I remember Turner's Cross as a young lad and there wasn't a seat in the place, you had a tin shed - literally, a shed for the players to got out in.

"Now the Munster Football Association came up with the plans and we progressed it. Tallaght Stadium for Shamrock Rovers.

"Governments have provided funding but I think we should up it a bit in terms of the league itself, the current funding."

Martin clarified his position with regard to the funding available.

"Sporting expenditure isn't huge, yet the value is enormous. I think the model of soccer has changed, it puts the League of Ireland in real difficulty.

"We have two or three clubs every year (dominating) - what I mean by that is the Dundalks, the Shamrock Rovers, we used to be there - Cork City - and we'll be back.

"But the funding underpinning it is very difficult and then there's work to be done in the schoolboys league, some of the academies have taken from the clubs in terms of players."

Martin believes it is a case of government 'stepping up to the plate' in terms of helping struggling football clubs now.

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